Buddism and Organ Donation

There are no injunctions in Buddhism for or against organ donation. The death process of an individual is viewed as a very important time that should be treated with the greatest care and respect. In some traditions, the moment of death is defined according to criteria which differ from those of modern Western medicine, and there are different views as to the acceptability of organ transplantation. The needs and wishes of the dying person must be compromised by the wish to save a life. Each decision will depend on individual circumstances.

Central to Buddhism is a wish to relieve suffering and there may be circumstances where organ donation may be seen as an act of generosity. Where it is truly the wish of the dying person, it would be seen in that light.

If there is doubt as to the teachings within the particular tradition to which a person belongs, expert guidance should be sought from a senior teacher within the tradition concerned.

When he discovered a monk sick and incared for, the Buddah said to the other monks,
“Whoever would care for me, let him care for those who are sick”.

Mahavagga VIII.26.1-8 Kucchivikara-vatthu
The Monk with Dysentery. Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Religious views Information obtained from UK Transplant

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