Q: Is organ donation or whole-body donation an abomination against God’s creation? I am studying medicine and we learn about anatomy through the dissection of donated bodies. And what about harvesting bodies from brain dead people? Are we killing them by doing so? — Johanne from Ontario, Canada
A: First, I think it is wonderful that you have made the decision to devote your life to service as a medical doctor. You will have the opportunity to touch people’s lives as Jesus did and, hopefully, to open their hearts to the message of the everlasting gospel and the three angels’ messages.
To your questions, the Bible says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14). We are precious to God and our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Even our hairs are all numbered (Luke 12:7). But, when we die, the body returns to the dust because that is what it is made of (Genesis 3:19). Human life is sacred and for that reason we should treat the bodies of human beings who die with the utmost respect. That is also why, if a life can be saved by means of an organ donation, we should not hesitate to make that possible. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.”
Much of Jesus’ ministry was spent healing the sick and restoring people’s bodies to physical health. Due to the process of decay, the resurrection really involves recreating the bodies of those who have died with faith in Christ when “this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). In view of these things, there would appear to be no biblical prohibition on organ or whole-body donation because these precious gifts are granted by donors to improve, promote, and prolong life.
Part of the service you will be able to render as a medical doctor is to help people understand how to better care for their bodies. If the organ is needed because the patient did not take good care of their “original equipment” you will have the opportunity to educate them as to how they can take better care of this very special gift so that they understand how special we are in God’s eyes.