Modern medicine development gave large possibilities for the treatment of patients, and many diseases that were previously incurable can now be cured in a short time thanks to advanced medical technologies and high professional skills of doctors. One of the solutions for the treatment of diseases is organ transplantation. What is the position of the Church about organ transplantation?
Churches’ opinions, official statements on organ transplantation are based on Scripture and principles of Christian doctrine. The Churches consider the phenomenon of organ transplantation with great reservations on the basis of the supreme value of human life, on the important obligation to preserve and care for God-given life. It means that the Christian Church only in exceptional circumstances considers entirely acceptable the phenomenon of organ transplantation used in medicine.
Organ transplantation makes possible to save human lives. So, what is the reason of Church’s objection to the leading treatment in medicine?
In order to perform organ transplantation to replace the deceased man’s damaged organ with the healthy one, they take a healthy organ from a corpse of a newly dead man or from a donor who gives consent to abandon his organ or any part thereof (as in the case of liver transplantation).
In both cases, taking organs from a dead or from a donor, there are concerns. The first major issue is the record of man’s death by doctors. Modern medicine with the definition of death distinguishes clinical death, in which the man can be resuscitated. Earlier, cardiac arrest was considered as an accurate fact of death. Now recording the stop of the heart function, doctors immediately endeavor to resuscitate the man.
For the taking of a dead man the human organs, the medical action must be done immediately after death, otherwise, the organs will not be suitable for transplantation. Here the problem arises with respect to records of the exact time of death. It is necessary to distinguish whether the death is final or clinical, as there have been cases when after a considerable time of the death record, a person returned to life. This means that the death record is not always exact. And then it happens that a person, having yet the possibility to live, is subjected to murder for the use of his organs.
The concern is emerging about the preservation of donors’ health after the removal of an organ because vital organs are removed, which may cause deterioration of human health.
Taking an organ from a donor is permissible unless there is a clear medical confidence that his health and life are not in danger. However, in the absence of such absolute confidence, the following problem arises. The purpose of organ transplantation is to save a patient’s life. However, as there is a need to save the patient’s life, as well as there is a need to preserve the donor’s health and life, otherwise it will be a sacrifice of a human life to save another human life, which is unacceptable in this case.
In addition, in hospitals of western countries, people fill out medical questionnaires where they provide information on their personal data and give consent to the use of their body organs after death for transplantation.
For any patient, in the case of compliance of an organ of the man, his data confirmed in medical records can be used by a grouping, engaged in the sale of organs, for organizing the persecution and murder of that man (even in the form of an accident) in order to seize his organs.
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