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Question and Answer

Is organ donation biblical?

Question:

What does the Bible say about blood donation and organ transplants?

Answer:

These practices are not directly addressed in the Bible, primarily because medical technology had not advanced to this point during the times Scripture was written. However, as Presbyterians, we believe the 6th Commandment ("Thou shalt not kill") commands us to do whatever is lawful and within our power to preserve the lives of others. You can read about this in our Larger Catechism #134-136. (You can find the Larger Catechism, with Scripture proofs, online here.)

Consider Matthew 25:35-36, where Jesus says, "... for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me." He will praise Christians who go out of their way to show mercy to others.

Accordingly, it seems to me donating organs and blood in order to save the lives of others is a good practice for Christians, and fitting with biblical commandments.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

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You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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