Cadaver Tissue use

Dear CAF… I’m sure this question has been asked before… but I’m hoping for some quick answers (“time” is of the essence, for a loved one).

I’m wondering if the Church has any moral objections to the use of Cadaver Tissue in surgical procedures. I believe it is called “Allo-derm” (sp?). Is it ok for Catholics to accept this practice?

Thanks in advance and God bless.

Of course. Same as a transplant. No problem.

Thank you, Mercygate. In reading back over this… my statement “time is of the essence” sounded like it was a question, involving emergency surgery. Sorry. I didn’t mean to give that impression.

“Time is of the essence” only in the chronological sense.

So… the next thing I need to ask… is the Alloderm still ok, if the surgery is for a NON life threatening situation? Sorry if this sounds confusing. Thanks for your response… God bless.

I’m not sure what you’re asking. If this is a medical condition that requires treatment, even though not life-threatening, then it would be perfectly acceptable. If you are trying to build a pig snout on a person’s forehead, maybe there could be a question.

I’m not sure why the life-threatening part matters.

As long as the donated tissue was from someone already dead, not someone killed to obtain the tissue, the use of the tissue for any objectively morally good or neutral purpose should be OK.

Mind you, I’m NOBODY in position to give authoritative advice!

It really is not whether a person is in a life-threatening condition or not. Take a person who has been burned badly. They often need skin grafts. If they were burned on the face, of course it would be fine to try to restore this person’s appearance or reduce the degree of disfigurement.

Another example would be breast reconstruction after a radical mastectomy. Nothing wrong there in trying to restore someone’s appearance. Now, if a woman just wanted to go from a B-cup to a DD-cup, that is entirely a different matter.

So if you have a burn, a very serious scar or some other disfigurement, I do not see a problem. If you are simply trying to enhance your appearance because you think your nose is too big, you have too many wrinkles or your breasts are too small, then no, I do not think that would be correct.

Ok, thanks guys. God bless.

Actually, one of the problems that I’m running into is that the companies who run the cadaver tissue banks often CAN’T prove that they had the consent of the donors, and that is something that has been reiterated over and over again as a necessary step for legitimizing donations of the body or parts of it. I’m not sure about Allo-Derm, but it’s something that needs to be investigated (and not just by Catholics, in my opinion…)

One of my friends had emergency surgery on her neck to repair some sort of disc problem and the surgeon used cadaver bone to stabilize her neck. When she came back to work we all told her she was dead from the neck up :smiley: In the most loving way, of course.

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