Presentation on theme: "Organ Transplant Should Catholics do it? What is the Church’s Position What is the Church’s position on organ transplants? Let’s turn to the Catechism."— Presentation transcript:
What is the Church’s Position What is the Church’s position on organ transplants? Let’s turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2296. 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.
Problems As you can see to donate a non-vital organ in order to help someone recover their health is perfectly acceptable and most generous. I personally know a woman who donated one of her kidneys to save her husband’s life. In this instance she had two perfectly functioning kidneys and only needed one to survive. You can’t donate a vital organ such as your heart because in so doing that would terminate your life and only God has the right to do that. This does present health care professionals with some additional problems. What does death mean? Does death mean the brain no longer functions, or the heart stops, or the person stops breathing?
Organ Transplant Business People in the organ transplant business tell us that certain organs are best harvested when there still a heartbeat. There have been some documented cases of a doctor removing “vital organs” from accident victims before it was certain that the person was dead. The most prudent course of action seems to be not to allow the “harvesting” of vital organs from a human body until brain activity, respiration and circulation have all ceased: no breathing, no heartbeat, no blood pressure and no brain activity.
Most Important Issues Only God gives us a mortal life and the choice of ending our mortal life rests with Him alone and no one else. CCC 2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
More from the Catechism CCC 2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to the sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care [to moderate the intensity of death] is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.
Terminal? Is organ donation acceptable? Yes, so long as it does not end the life of the donor. When can vital organs be removed? Only after death has occurred because to do otherwise would be to place yourself in the position of God. Nothing can be done to hasten death. I knew a woman who had a very painful terminal cancer. Her pain was so great, and her pain medication need was so high, she had to take the medication by IV. When asked why she put up with this pain she said, “I thought my children how to live, now I will teach them how to die and that’s God’s decision not mine.”