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Interfaith Meeting Supports Organ Donation

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There are many forms of charity but the biggest of all is donating organs.
Misplaced religious beliefs often come in the way of a family’s decision to donate organs and save lives. While proponents say a lot of these barriers are breaking down, several myths continue to surround death and the afterlife that deter people from donating organs.
Recently, The Times of India, in collaboration with the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, invited leaders from various religious communities to dispel some of the misconceptions.
“There are many forms of charity but the biggest of all is donating organs,” said Rajyogini Kamlesh from the Brahma Kumaris. “There is no spiritual hindrance in donating organs. If religion doesn’t come in the way of donating worldly possession, why would it object to organ donation?” she said.
Swami Durgananda from Ramkrishna Math and Mission said organ donation was not a new concept as Indian scriptures have mentioned several instances of this. He cited Rishi Dadhichi, a saint who sacrificed his limbs and bones for moral accomplishment and to triumph over vice.
Christianity thinks no differently. Father Stephen Fernandes, a professor of Moral Theology said, “Pope John Paul II affirmed that every transplant has its source in a decision of great ethical value. The nobility of the act lies in the decision to offer without reward a part of one’s own body for the wellbeing of another person,” he said.
Maria Khan, a member of Centre for Peace and Spirituality, said the Quran regards saving a life as having saved the mankind. “Organ donation is a unique way of honouring the sanctity of life. This is why it is undoubtedly an Islamic act,” she said.
Judaism that had reservations in the past about organ donation has evolved with rabbis world over now talking in its favour. “Every Jewish child is taught about tikkun olam, which means heal the world. We can take it a step forward by continuing good deeds after we are dead,” said Hannah Akiv Judah, speaking from the Jewish point of view.