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Christian and Muslim Views for and against Transplant Surgery

Updated on December 10, 2010
Credit: Brit.
Credit: Brit.

Transplant surgery or organ donation is when an organ is transferred from a healthy or dead person that can survive without it to a person who can not. Christians have views for and against transplant surgery. They believe that  the decision to donate at the end of life is the beginning of healing for many others an idea gained from Jesus’ teachings to, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:38). To other major points are that Christians believe that in the resurrection after death the body is no needed and the soul goes on to a new life “In which we will neither have nor need our earthly bodies: former things will pass away, all things will be made new.” (Revelation 21: 4&5) suggesting that there is nothing wrong with donating organs. Healing is also a major teaching of Christianity so this suggests there is nothing wrong with transplant surgery.

However, some Christians are also against transplant surgery. Some believe that transplanting organs ignores the sanctity of life as all life belongs to God or could be seen as ‘playing God’ by usurping God’s role. God controls everything and perhaps it is his desire that a certain person suffers for their sins and interfering with this could interfere with Gods plans. Also, organ transplants can create a market in organs which could lead to exploitation of the poor, something banned by the Bible.

Islam also can be taken to teach views for and against transplant surgery. Some Muslims believe that it is wrong as violating the body is considered wrong in Islam. Like in Christianity organ transplants violate the sanctity of life according to the Shar’iah. It explains that nothing should be removed from the body after death.

However there are more teachings for transplant surgery in Islam. One of the basic aims of the Muslim faith is the saving of life and is an important aim of the Shariah. Allah will reward those who save others from death. The Quran states that "Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind," also suggesting all effort should be made to attempt to save lives. Some Muslims allow transplant surgery but only if the donor is a close relative. This has been allowed by Muslim laws. Islam allows a Muslim to eat pork if they are starving; therefore this would suggest it is ok to ‘violating’ the body could be acceptable to help a dying relative by giving them an organ. Overall whether a religion is for or against transplant surgery can be seen both ways as there was no such thing when the Quran and Bible was written so these include no teachings on the subject. A persons religious opinion is therefore down to the perception of the existing teachings.  


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