Yesterday, I posted the following survey on Twitter:
Is a person *morally* obliged to make their body available for organ donation unless they have some overriding moral reason not to (e.g. death by highly infectious disease)?
— Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) January 5, 2019
In this article, I’d like to narrow the question to Christians.
To begin with, the question is based on the assumptions that (i) one lives in a country where the technology secures the likelihood that great medical benefit to others may come through the donation of one’s organs and (ii) one’s own body is a fitting donor of organs for others.
With that in mind, I offer four simple considerations:
First, Christian theology is predicated on the assumption that our bodies are not, ultimately, our own. Rather, our bodies (and indeed our very lives) are on loan for us to use as long as the divine will allows. Consequently, no question of this type can be circumvented by appealing to the unqualified ownership over one’s body.
Second, Christians are obliged to follow the Golden Rule by divine authority. If one would welcome the provision of a healthy organ from a deceased person if required, then is one not thereby prima facie obliged to make available one’s healthy organs to others when deceased?
Third, Christians are called to love their neighbors as themselves. Posthumous organ donation is a powerful exemplification of this call and, as such, ought to be the normative expectation for Christians.
Fourth, Christians are called to take up their crosses daily. That call involves the expectation of self-abnegation in difficult circumstances, and this final cruciform call should overcome any lingering concerns in the Christian.
Add these points up and, so it seems to me, Christians are obliged to make their organs available for donation posthumously barring some powerful reason not to.