Judaism and Organ Donation
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 Judaism.
Can Jews Donate Organs After Death?
Yes, in principle, Judaism sanctions and encourages organ, eye, and tissue donation in order to save lives. Organ donations after death represent not only an act of kindness, but are also a “commanded obligation” which saves human lives. (On Educating Conservative Jews Regarding Organ Donations, May 1996)
What is the Judaism Stance on Organ Donation and Transplantation?
According to Rabbi Elliott N. Dorff, Professor, American Jewish University, Chair of the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, saving a life through organ donation supersedes the rules concerning treatment of a dead body. Transplantation does not desecrate a body or show lack of respect for the dead, and any delay in burial to facilitate organ donation is respectful of the decedent. Organ donation saves lives and honors the deceased.
“Organ donations after death represent not only an act of kindness, but are also a “commanded obligation” which saves human lives.”
Respecting and Caring for the Deceased
Traditional funeral and burial services are important to all faith communities and Judaism is no different. Deceased organ donors are always treated with the utmost respect and dignity throughout the entire donation process.
Why Jews in the U.S. Should Consider Organ Donation
There are nearly 2,000 people here in our community waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, many of whom self-identified as Jews. 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 and tissue donation is the greatest act of kindness you can perform. Get the facts about donation and sign up as an organ donor today.