Is organ donation OK?

There was a letter in the Church bulletin that addressed cremation and the scattering of ashes. I’m a bit confused. If the scattering of ashes isn’t accepted, then what about the “scattering” of my organs when I die, if I so choose to donate them?

I would like to know how the Church feels about donating organs. Thank you so much for your time!


The Church teaches that organ donation can be a good thing: “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 that is sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent” (Catechism, 2296).

Organ donation differs from scattering cremation remains in that scattering of the ashes is not considered to be a reverent disposition of the remains. For more on this see Can a Catholic promise to scatter the ashes of a non-Catholic?

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