Is it allowed for a Catholic to donate organs to science or for transplant?

I’m hoping someone can give me a reference on the topic of organ donation for Catholics. :bible1:

2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.

So what do we do to address the contradiction in the teaching here? For every organ except the eyes, harvesting them for donation IS the act that brings about the death of the donor. Why won’t the church address this evil that it is strenuously encouraging?

Organ donation is normally on death. A lung, a kidney and also part of a liver can be donated alive.

Hearts can only be donated while the person is still alive (ie: on life support), and in doing, kills the patient, so donating one’s heart is not permissible.

That is not quite right. The church has stated the determination of the moment of death is a medical, not a religious issue. See Pope Pius XII “The Prolongation of Life” in The Pope Speaks 4:4 1958.] There is support, though not universal, but close to a consensus, that “brain death” constitutes medical death. Accordingly, under this view, if a person is declared medically “brain dead”, though still functioning on a ventilator, the removal of organs, including the heart, are arguably morally permissible.

Would that make it morally impermissible for a Catholic to receive a heart transplant?

See post #6 above, so “no”.

Whoops - my post wasn’t clear.

What I’m asking is that if a person believes it’s morally impermissible for a Catholic to donate a heart (post #5), is it also morally impermissible for a Catholic to receive a heart transplant?

Interesting article on the subject here:

God bless,

Interesting, my parents and I were just discussing a similar topic last night. We saw on the news that the first successful womb transplant had occurred. We were dubious about its moral state.

Right. So the article seems to claim that organ donation is fine so long as the doner is truly brain dead. In fact, the catechism and the quotes from JPII and others state that this is a beautiful act of charity and generosity. But this is the only way that such organs should be passed on. Any other imposed donation or organ donation for profit offends against the dignity of the whole human person. That dignity is only preserved if the act is one of generosity and love.

God bless,

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