Organ donation

The following post is currently being circulated on social media:

A reminder to all, residents in the UK are now automatically on the organ donation register. If you don’t Opt Out your organs and tissue are now the property of the UK government after death. You can easily opt out for yourself and family members using the link below, it takes about 1 minute. [link] It is *NOT* permissible for us to donate our organs.

My immediate thought, on reading this, was: why is it not permissible for us to donate our organs after our death? Do we need them as we lie in our graves?

After all, we read in the Qur’an that God explicitly says He can recreate even the tips of our fingers, long after we have become dust in the ground:

“Does man think that We will not assemble his bones? Yes. We are able even to proportion his fingertips.” Qur’an 75:3-4

Given that we know that our organs quickly decompose after death and that within about a decade only our skeleton remains of us, what is it that I am preserving, which God cannot recreate, by refusing to give my organs so that another’s life may be saved?

But of course these are just my personal opinions, borne of personal reflections on verses of the Qur’an and the life we live. What of scholarly reason?

To my knowledge, it is not possible to definitively claim that it organ donation is not permissible, from a scholarly perspective. Obviously there are some who hold that opinion, but there are many others who say the opposite. Some, for example, claim that organ donation after death is a form of sadqah jariyah. Others that saving a life is more important than preserving the body of the deceased.

Clearly there are different opinions on this sensitive topic. But from a personal perspective, I’d find it a terrible shame if living patients in desperate need of a new liver should be deprived pristine, healthy livers from suddenly-deceased, non-alcoholics, simply because an individual irresponsibly circulated an opinion opposing organ transplantation as a definitive fact.

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