Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Faith Communities and Organ Donation

The letter below was published in the Eastern Daily Press (Feb 27th 2012)

I am afraid that I must take issue with some of the comments made by John Ferguson (Solution is Simple, EDP 22/2) relating to the supposed attitudes of the Church regarding organ transplant.

Christian Church leaders, along with colleagues from other faith communities remain at the forefront on the ongoing debate around issues such as the campaign for presumed consent.

Church of England teaching and synodical policy suggests that organ donation be a Christian duty, in keeping with giving oneself and one's possessions freely-The ready willingness to donate an organ is a clear sign of that sacrificial self-giving for others patterned by Jesus Christ.

Pope John Paul 2nd declared that, "Every organ transplant has its source in a decision of great ethical value… Here lies the nobility of a gesture which is a genuine act of love. There is a need to instil in people's hearts a genuine and deep love that can find expression in the decision to become an organ donor."

The Methodist Church has consistently supported organ donation and transplantation in appropriate circumstances, as a means through which healing and health may be made possible.

Of course, we all grieve differently and pastoral sensitivity has to be at the
heart of this issue;

Jesus Christ demonstrated with his own life how, even in sorrow, love enables us to embrace
the needs of others. We can choose to donate our organs to save the lives of many people. The decision to donate at the end of life is the beginning of healing for many others. As a disabled person myself, I know that healing and saving life is a great gift. Jesus sent his twelve disciples out with the imperative to heal disease and illness and care for the sick; we are called to
do likewise.