Religion & Donation

Every year in the United States, more than 7,000 people (20 people a day) die because of a lack of available organs for transplant. That’s why it’s so important that as many people as possible sign up to be organ and tissue donors: thousands of lives literally depend on it.

What holds some people back from saying yes to organ and tissue donation? Sadly, many people mistakenly believe that it is against their religion. However, this is not true. In fact, all major religions not only support organ donation as an individual right, but encourage it as an act of generosity and compassion.

The following religions strongly encourage organ donation as an act of charity and a way to better human life:

  • Catholicism
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Lutheran Church
  • Mormon
  • Presbyterian
  • Unitarian Universalist
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist

The following religions believe that organ donation is a personal choice left up to the individual:

  • Assembly of God
  • Buddhism
  • The Church of Christ, Scientist
  • Hinduism
  • Independent Conservative Evangelical
  • Mennonite
  • Moravian
  • Pentecostal
  • Seventh-Day Adventist
  • Southern Baptist Convention
  • Society of Friends (Quakers)

Other religious views:

The Amish consent to donation if they know it is for the health and welfare of the transplant recipient, and are not forbidden from using modern medical services, including surgery, hospitalization, dental work, anesthesia, blood transfusions or immunization.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are often assumed to be opposed to donation because of their belief against blood transfusion. However, this only means that all blood must be removed from the organs and tissues before being transplanted. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that decisions about donating organs must be made by the individual.

Find more about religion and organ donation.

For more detailed information about specific religious viewpoints on organ and tissue donation: