Our home town church had the most amazing pipe organ up in the choir loft. For some inexplicable reason the parish powers that be dismantled that one and purchased another big organ that sits on the floor by the side door. Perhaps the organist simply had enough of looking like the Phantom of the Opera up there...or the abominable Dr. Phibes. Still, I miss it and wish it would come back somehow. Which brings us to today's question:
Sister, what do you think about organ donation? I've read several things but I'm just more confused. I fear death will be 'hastened' to 'harvest' the organs, if -God forbid- I ever find myself in this delima what is right?
The only thing I find confusing about organ donation is: if you have had a liver transplant and you have liver spots....who's spots do you have?
I bring this up because in the afterlife you will have your glorifed body. It's going to be your body (which, as I've mentioned is a very good impetus to get in shape NOW, as this is eternity we're talking about) with everything in it.
That means that if you get a liver transplant you'll have to give the liver back to the original owner in heaven. You could go without a liver in heaven, because you won't need it. But you'll have it anyhow.
If you or your organ donor are in hell, you'll still have to give the liver back to the donor.
I wouldn't worry about it, though. For example, you've lost a leg or a finger tip and have been running around all this time without it, you'll get that back in heaven so that you won't miss out on any heavenly pleasure. You'll feel so great in heaven, you'll get both legs and your finger tip back so you can to feel all the available pleasure. (If you land in hell you'll get your old leg back to you don't miss out on any suffering.) So it would seem to me that you won't have to go running around looking for your organ donor, he or she will simply get their liver back and you'll have your old one...the one they tossed out the back of the hospital.
Here's what the Catholic Church officially has to say on the matter:
(from the Cathechism of the Catholic Church)
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.
I think that's pretty clear. You can't give your organs away if it's too risky for you or not very helpful to the donee. It's a very great gift. We want you to do it (that's what we mean by 'to be encouraged'). Everyone has to say yes, especially the donor. You can't kill anyone to get their organs. Even if you really want to.
Which means your confusion only boils down to your own fear. You are working under a faulty premise that equates action with potential risk. Where is Sister St. Aloysius when we need her? You need to replace the "equals" sign with the "less than" or "greater than" signs. This isn't confusing. You do it every day.
Here's your equation in theory: Action=Potential for danger.
Here's your equation in practise: I leave the house healthy=I get hit by a bus.
You don't live by that equation, now do you?
You live by this one: I leave the house healthy>I get hit by a bus. Every single action we take has the potential for risk. Eating is a choking hazard. Walking is a falling hazard. Swimming is a drowning hazard. But you still eat, right? Let's hope so.
Surely we can agree that good done by organ donation far outweighs the possibility of misuse. I'll even go so far as to say that there is misuse already. Poor people selling kidneys and the like. This is where faith has to step in. Check that box on your driver's license!