Religious Views on Donation
Most religions in the United States either officially support organ and tissue donation or support the individual choices of their members; donation is viewed as an act of compassion and generosity. Wondering where your religion stands on donation? Check the guide below.
Learn more about our Faith-Based Outreach Program and National Donor Sabbath.
For more information about getting involved in your faith-based community, please contact our staff.
What Does Your Religion Say About Donation?
AME & AME Zion
Donation is viewed as an act of neighborly love and charity by these denominations. They encourage all members to support donation as a way of helping others.
Approved if there is a definite indication that the health of the recipient would improve, but reluctant if the outcome is questionable.
Assembly of God
Donation is highly supported.
The Bahai faith believes that transplants are acceptable if prescribed by medical authorities, and believers are permitted to donate their bodies for research and for restorative purposes.
Baptist groups have supported organ and tissue donation as an act of charity and leave the decision to donate up to the individual.
Buddhists believe organ and tissue donation is a matter that should be left to an individual's conscience.
The question of donation is left to the individual church member.
In 1982, a resolution was passed that recognizes the life-giving benefits of blood, organ and tissue donation. All Episcopalians are encouraged to become donors.
Donation is supported as a way to better human life through transplantation or research.
While there are no references to organ and tissue donation in Hindu scriptures, Hindu beliefs and principles support organ and tissue donation. Additionally, the Hindu philosophy of karma and helping others supports the notion of organ donation.
Independent Conservative Evangelical
In general, Evangelicals have no opposition to donation. Each church is autonomous and leaves the decision to donate up to the individual.
The Holy Qur’an, chapter 5:32, says, “Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” Normally, violating the human body, whether living or dead, is forbidden in Islam – but the Shariah (Muslim law) believes this can be overruled when saving another person’s life.
Donation is a matter of individual decision. Jehovah's Witnesses do allow for transplantation after blood has been drained from the organ. Worldwide, there are more than 90,000 doctors who have made it known that they are willing to treat Jehovah’s Witnesses without blood.
All four branches of Judaism support and encourage donation.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
There is no church law or theological reason preventing Lutheran Christians from choosing to be organ donors, and God’s promise to resurrect the dead is not compromised by organ donation.
Mennonites believe the decision to donate is up to the individual and/or their family.
In 2007, the Church of Latter Day Saints issued a statement on donation, which read in part: “The donation of organs and tissue is a selfless act that often results in great benefit to individuals with medical conditions.”
Pentecostals believe that the decision to donate should be left up to the individual.
Presbyterians encourage and support donation.
Organ and tissue donation is believed to be an individual decision.
Roman Catholic Church
Donation is viewed as an act of charity and love. Transplants are morally and ethically acceptable to the Vatican.
The Sikh religion stresses the importance of performing noble deeds, and saving a life is considered one of the greatest forms of noble deeds. Therefore organ donation is deemed acceptable to the Sikh religion.
Seventh Day Adventist
Donation and transplantation are strongly encouraged.
Donation is widely supported and viewed as an act of love and giving.
A 1984 policy statement notes that the church “recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation, and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors.”