Baptist Beliefs on Organ Donations
29 SEP 2017
While a painful decision to make, organ donation enables the loss of one human life to help others who are in need of a transplant. Most religious denominations support organ donation as a benevolent act, including the Baptist faith. In most scenarios, the Baptist Church supports donating organs and tissue when properly facilitated by medical professionals.
1 Official Stance
The Baptist Church officially supports organ donation by its parishioners. In 1988, the religious sect released an official resolution via the Southern Baptist Convention which outlined the church's stance in support of organ donation. The resolution encourages doctors to ask Baptists for organ donation when they deem it appropriate.
The Baptist Church primarily supports organ donation because it is seen as an act of charity. Furthermore, the church views donations as an opportunity to alleviate the suffering of people with illness and show compassion to others, acts that are aligned with the Baptist faith. The church also concluded that the entire body need not be intact to experience complete resurrection promised by the Bible. While not a religious rationale, the church publicly admitted that it endorses organ donation in part because a U.S. Gallup poll showed that more than 80 percent of respondents would be willing to donate the organ of a loved one.
Despite its overall positive stance on organ donation, the church does not support donations in all cases. If organ donation requires abortion, or the use of fetal tissues, the Baptist Church doesn't condone it. If donating one's organs results in euthanasia, it's also unsupported by the church -- Baptists don't believe death should be caused only to donate organs, but rather the death must be imminent already.
4 Individual Choice
While the church does see organ donation as a charitable gift and act of kindness, it ultimately acknowledges that it's an individual choice. It does not condemn a person who chooses not to be an organ donor, nor the next of kin who decides not to participate in organ donation for a loved one.