Donation and Religion

Most major religions support donation as a demonstration of faith as well as love for others. Here is how various religions view donation. If you have additional questions about your faith's position on donation, contact your clergy or spiritual advisor.

  • African Methodist Episcopal (AME) and AME Zion – Views donation as an act of neighborly love and charity, and encourages support for donation as a way of helping others.
  • Amish – Supports donation if it is for the health and welfare of the transplant recipient.
  • Assembly of God – Has no official donation policy, and leaves the decision up to the individual.
  • Baptist – Regards donation as an act of charity and leaves the donation decision to the individual.
  • Brethren – Supports donation and encourages members to consider donation as a way to help others out of love for Christ.
  • Buddhism – Believes donation should be left to the individual; there is no written resolution on the issue.
  • Catholicism – Views donation as an act of charity, fraternal love and self sacrifice. Transplants are ethically and morally acceptable to the Vatican.
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – Supports donation; encourages members to make the commitment to be donors.
  • The Church of Christ Scientist – Does not take a specific position on transplants or donation; the issue of donation is left to the individual.
  • Episcopal – Recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ, blood and tissue donation, and encourages all Christians to become donors.
  • Greek Orthodox – Supports donation provided the organs and tissues are used to better human life, such as for transplantation or research leading to improvements in disease treatment and prevention.
  • Gypsies – Against donation because of their belief about the after-life. Gypsies believe that for one year after a person dies, the soul retraces its steps. The body must be intact because the soul maintains its physical shape.
  • Hinduism – Leaves the donation decision up to the individual.
  • Independent Conservative Evangelical – Does not oppose donation, leaving the decision up to the individual.
  • Islam – Initially rejected donation, but revised its position, as long as donors consent in writing before death.
  • Jehovah's Witnesses – Does not encourage donation but believes the decision is best left to an individual's conscience. All organs and tissues, however, must be completely drained of blood before transplantation. In addition, it would not be acceptable for an organ donor to receive blood as part of the organ recovery process.
  • Judaism – All four branches (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) support and encourage donation. Because restoring sight is considered life saving, this includes cornea transplantation.
  • Lutheran – Believes donation contributes to the well-being of humanity and can be an expression of sacrificial love for neighbors in need. Members are called on to consider donation and make any necessary family and legal arrangements.
  • Mennonite – Does not have a formal position on donation, but is not opposed to it; the decision is up to the individual and/or the family.
  • Moravian – Does not have a formal position on donation, leaving the decision up to the individual.
  • Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) – Does not oppose donation; believes the decision to donate is an individual one made in conjunction with family, medical personnel and prayer.
  • Pentecostal – Believes the decision to donate should be left up to the individual.
  • Presbyterian – Encourages and supports donation; respects a person's right to make decisions regarding his/her body.
  • Seventh-Day Adventist – Strongly encourages donation and transplantation. The church has many transplant hospitals.
  • Shinto – Regards donation as injuring the relationship between the deceased person and those who are grieving.
  • Sikh – Considers donation acceptable, considering it part of the religion's emphasis on performing noble deeds.
  • Society of Friends (Quakers) – Does not have a formal position on donation; believes donation is an individual decision.
  • Unitarian Universalist – Widely supports donation as an act of love and selfless giving.
  • United Church of Christ – Encourages and supports donation.
  • United Methodist – Recognizes the life-giving benefits of donation, and encourages all Christians to become donors.