Organ donation and transplantation saves and heals thousands of lives every year and is a generous act supported by all major religions in the United States, including permission for the many branches of Protestantism.
Can Protestants Donate Organs and Tissues?
Yes, organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation is permissible within the many denominations of the Protestantism faith. From Baptists to Methodists, the Protestant religions, in general, believe that the decision to donate is a personal one and encourage it’s members to consider donation as a final act of love.
The Protestant Stance on Donation and Transplantation
- Baptist – The nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, adopted a resolution encouraging physicians to request organ donation in appropriate circumstance and to “…encourage voluntarism regarding organ donations in the spirit of stewardship, compassion for the needs of others and alleviating suffering.” Other Baptist groups have supported organ and tissue donation as an act of charity and leave the decision to donate up to the individual.
- Evangelical – The Evangelical Covenant Church passed a resolution at the Annual Meeting in 1982 encouraging members to sign and carry organ donor cards. The resolution also recommended “that it becomes a policy with our pastors, teachers, and counselors to encourage awareness of organ donation in all our congregations.”
- Lutheran – The Lutheran Church passed a resolution in 1984 stating that donation contributes to the well-being of humanity and can be “an expression of sacrificial love for a neighbor in need.”
- Methodist – The United Methodist Church recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors,” reports a church policy statement. In a 2000 resolution, the church also “encourages its congregations to join in the interfaith celebration of National Donor Sabbath … another way that United Methodists can help save lives.”
Respecting and Caring for the Deceased
Traditional funeral and burial services are important to all faith communities and Protestant denominations are no different. Deceased donors are always treated with the utmost respect and dignity throughout the entire donation process. If your loved one’s organs and tissues are eligible to be donated, a team of specialist surgeons show respect during the recovery process by caring for the donor in a way that allows a traditional open casket funeral.
Why Protestants Should Consider Organ Donation?
There are nearly 2,000 people in our region waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, many of whom identify as a Protestant
faithful. Making the decision to discuss organ donation with your loved ones and signing up as an organ donor brings hope to those waiting and saves lives. Learn more about Faith and Donation and how you can share your lifesaving decision with your Faith community in celebration of National Donor Sabbath.
Organ donation is the greatest act of charity and love you can perform. Get the facts about donation and sign up as an organ donor today,