Sunday, January 8, 2017
Jan 6, 2017
As we close out the Christmas season I hope it has been joy filled for you and may your New Year be blessed!
The Gift of Life – Organ donation, have you ever considered this wonderful gift?
A couple months ago religious communities across our country celebrated National Donor Sabbath. We missed it because of so many other things going on, but I saved the materials to use at a later date. Donor Sabbath is an annual interfaith celebration of life and thanksgiving to recognize the wonderful work of the organ donation communities.
I consider organ donation to be a generous and substantial gift of life to others, just check out the back of my driver license. It is a gift that all of us can make at the time of our death. There is an abundance of material available attesting to the large numbers of people who await organ and tissue transplantation. I know several people who have been the recipients of others’ generosity in this regard. They are parishioners, family, and friends. Perhaps you too know someone whose life was saved by the gift of organ or tissue transplantation.
But what is the Church’s moral stand on organ and tissue transplantation? A good question because we revere the value of life so highly. The answer is a simple one. Our church clearly teaches that the gift of organ and tissue transplantation is a profound gift of life that is morally acceptable and highly commendable. Obviously there is no pain or suffering involved for the giver of such gifts; but often times families find themselves in an awkward position when the issue is raised. Families want to follow the wishes of the deceased, but often feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of transplantation. This is understandable; but it should not be an obstacle dismissing the wishes of someone who has decided to donate their tissues and organs so that others might have life.
Information about organ and tissue donation is available from many places. My health care proxy, family and my doctor are aware of my wishes. The thought that the gift of part of me could provide life for someone else is humbling. Please do consider organ and tissue transplantation as a part of your legacy to others.
A number of web sites contain helpful information. See: http://www.health.state.ny.us and click on the “Donate Life” box for series of Questions and Answers. Another very helpful site is: https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/patients/donation/organ/frequently_asked_questions.htm
Let us continue to pray for peace and for the end of terrorism in our world!
In peace and courage,