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Question 44.

Morning Pater, I wanted to go back to the first week when someone asked about organ donation and you said that our religion doesn't allow it as our body has to leave as it arrived (sorry I am paraphrasing as I don't remember the correct wording) but my question is if my child needed an organ donation should I not help my child? I would do everything in my power to help my child so what does that mean for me? Will I not be classed as a 'good' Greek Orthodox?

 

Answer to Question 44.

 

It is not a question of being a “good Greek Orthodox. On that particular day I had many questions and two other priests also helped me with the answers. The question of organ donation was answered by Father D. A. I made a copy of all the comments on that day and from what I could make out father D.A. was very clear, but people preferred not to understand.  The question had to do with removing organs from someone who is pronounced clinically dead. What father D.A. said and what I confirmed was that the Church has still not taken any official stand on this subject because science has not made it clear what clinical death means. If the heart is still beating then the person in actually still alive. So until science can prove the person is dead, the Church cannot condone the removal of organs.  But this does not apply to every occasion of organ donation or blood transfusions. If someone wishes to donate a kidney this will not kill him because he can still live a normal life with just one kidney. Certain other organs can also be removed without killing the person. In such cases the Church has no problem with people donating certain organs and would commend such actions and give her blessing.

 

Same member

 

Thank you for your response. I understand now that the comments were in reference to when the medical profession states that there is 'nothing more that they can do for us'

 

Reply

 

Yes, the argument is precisely this. What gives doctors the right to say someone is beyond help and nothing more can be done for him, so give us your permission to remove the organs? It is not allowing for God’s intervention and there have been many occasions when the person was pronounced clinically dead and miraculously had a complete recovery. Once the organs are removed then the person is 100% dead and there is no way of knowing if he would have lived. But if the person is already dead the organs cannot be removed because they would be of no use as they have to be removed while the person is still alive. A bit of a catch 22.