Is it Biblical to Donate Blood, Platelets, or Organs?

by Jack Wellman on July 25, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

We know that the Bible doesn’t mention donor cards, donating organs, donating platelets or plasma.  Are there applications in the Bible that could guide us as to whether a Christian should donate blood or donate their organs upon their death?

Organ Donors

On my driver’s license I have an Organ Donor place on the back of it that tells the authorities that I have prearranged to have any usable organs in my body donated to help someone else who may have need of them.  I spoke with my family in advance about my wishes.   They understand that after my physical death I will have no need for my organs because I will be present with the Lord.  My organs, if they are still usable, may give someone else the chance to live.  What good will my organs do after I have departed and am with the Lord?   They will do me no good at my death but they could possibly make a huge difference for someone who is still living or maybe even save their life.

I have been born again and have eternal life in Jesus Christ because I placed my trust in Him to save me and I have faith that I will be with Him for eternity.  My hope is only as strong at the object that I place it in and Jesus Christ is the Solid Rock that shall never disappoint or will never fade away.  In the new heavens and in the new earth, after Christ’s return, my body will be with my soul and it will be joined with Jesus Christ to rule and reign with Him as kings and priests.  My organs, just like my physical life, are finite.

The latest survey indicates that one hundred percent of humans die and if I am alive at Christ’s return, I will join Him and live forever in His presence.  We will have a perfect body, mind, and soul.  We will sin no more and all old things will have passed away, including my less-than-perfect body of today.  If we have within us the power to help someone else live, even after our death, I believe God would be pleased if we used what we no longer need in this world to help someone else live a better life or maybe even save their life.  God is the Author and Originator of life and He teaches us about the sanctity of life and the importance of preserving life.  I think that if it is within our power to do good and we do not do it, we lose a chance to help someone who is in great need. Proverbs 3:27 seems perfectly fitting as Solomon wisely wrote, Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act (Prov 3:27).

Is It Biblical To Donate Blood

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act” (Prov 3:27).

Blood Donors

I have been a blood donor for about 25 years now.  The highest need for donated blood is not for accident victims in the E R, or for those who are anemic, but for cancer patients.  There are hundreds of thousands of children that are in need of blood to survive their fight with cancer right now.  This is a matter of life or death for many of them.  Blood supplies, according to the Red Cross, are near all time lows right now and if a major disaster were to hit somewhere in this nation, the critical supply of donated blood would not be met.  This means that hundreds or thousands could needlessly die because many will not take the time or trouble to donate blood even though it only takes about 45 minutes at most donor stations.  Sadly, 4.5 million Americans will need donated blood this year but there is not enough available.

The old church hymn, “There’s Power in the Blood” rings true for those who have not believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  There is power in our blood too…blood that we donate.  The blood of Jesus Christ gives us eternal life.  Donated blood can help save someone’s physical life.  Why not donate blood to help those who are in desperate need of it?  We have this power in us, Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Gal 6:10).  Here Paul says to do good to all people.  This means unbelievers and Christians alike.  Most of us have opportunity to do good but exceedingly few take it. Naturally, not everyone is able to donate blood due to physical reasons, but I am not speaking to these people, who through no fault of their own are not able to donate blood.  The fact is that the vast majority of people can donate (at least about 40% of people) but less than 1 in 10 actually do.

Platelets and Plasma Donors

The same principle applies for those who choose to donate platelets and plasma.  In some places, you can sell your plasma, but there are better reasons to donate than simply for the money.  I got a letter from the Red Cross recently about my donated blood helping a young child called Bridgette (name changed for privacy) who has acute lymphocytic leukemia and that they had to fly her to Omaha, Nebraska because where she lived, there was a severe shortage of O positive blood.  She would have died otherwise.  For every one of these stories, there are hundreds more who die waiting for blood, platelets, organs or plasma.  Bridgette needed eight transfusions and the doctors frantically fought for her life for two weeks.  She survived.  She was one of the few and fortunate ones.  Millions of others are not so fortunate.  Bridgette will need, over the next two years, more whole blood and platelets if she is to survive into adulthood.

An interesting fact is that 94% of registered voters donate blood on a regular basis.  Anyone who is eligible can donate every 54 days.  For these people who do donate, I can believe that “…it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose (Phil 2:13). God must look down from heaven with pleasure when a child’s life is saved due to the selfless benevolence of one donor.

Conclusion

Children who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, premature infants, children having open heart surgery, children with sickle cell anemia, and of course accident victims all need blood…desperately.  This does not even count the millions of adults who will need blood, organs, plasma or platelets.  Is there a Scripture about donating blood?  No, there is not, but there is the higher principle that if we are able to save a life, then we should do it.  Even though I used this Scripture before, let me add the preceding chapter in its proper context: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Gal 6:9-10).  Life is precious to God.  God desires that we serve one another and give ourselves as a living sacrifice.  Let Paul’s admonition to us as believers be mine to you in pleading with you to give life, and give blood or donate your organs after death, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship (Rom 12:1).

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek Hill July 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Nice job on this one Jack! I agree with you 100%. Anything we can do to help another human being is definitely in accordance with God’s will as long as it will honestly be a benefit to them. Giving blood and organs is always a benefit! God Bless!

Derek

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Jack Wellman July 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Thank you Derek. It is actually very beneficial to the human body and for men especially important because of a little know risk that is called Hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis (called iron storage disease) occurs when the body absorbs too much iron from foods and other sources such as vitamins containing iron. This disease causes extra iron to gradually build up in the body’s tissues and organs, a term called iron overload. If this iron buildup is not treated, it can, over many years, damage the body’s organs. So its really a win-win for us to “man up” but of course it is also very beneficial for women to but for different reasons. Thanks friend.

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Josh July 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Jack,

I love your use of this verse in this article: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act” (Prov 3:27).

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Jack Wellman July 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Thank you Josh. I found an interesting corollary. It is that 86% of those who donate blood, also vote. I found that interesting. Thank you for the kind words my friend.

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Robert July 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

Thank you Jack. Well-spoken and spot on. God wants to show His love through us, so anything we do that exhibits His love is a good thing. You made a great and logical point when you said that you would not need your organs, etc. after you are dead. If any of my organs, etc. can help someone when I’m gone, that’s what I want to do. To show the love of Jesus.
As I read your article, I kept thinking of this verse: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17 ESV).
Thanks again Jack.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jack Wellman July 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Great Scriptural reference brother. I must thank God that He directed you here to this site and for your many blessings that you have already brought here…and I believe in God’s sovereignty that this was no accident.

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Rossa August 1, 2012 at 7:54 am

Very good article, i am really touched. We turn to ignore things sometimes and God would be happy to see us helping people in need. I will ensure that I start donating blood because honestly speaking i never considered it.

Thank you for creating the awareness and God bless

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Jack Wellman August 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thank you so much Rossa. God bless you for caring my friend. There is power in the blood of ours to give and save lives…and in Christ’s shed blood to save our lives for eternity!

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Pepper August 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Wonderful, Jack. I had the opportunity to donate blood a few weeks ago.

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Jack Wellman August 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Thank you Pepper. It is so good to hear from you again. I am donating blood tomorrow and will try to rehearse the great hymn, “There’s Power in the Blood” to be a way to share the power of Jesus’ blood to impart eternal life. God bless and please come back again soon my friend.

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Sonia April 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Very Nice article Pastor. We shouldn’t withhold anything good from those in need, especially when one is in the position or power to act according to Prov 3:27. But please, help me throw more light on these verses: {Leviticus 3:17} “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor BLOOD”. {2 Samuel 23:16-17} “And the three mighty men broke through the army of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem by the gate and brought it to David. But he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, to drink this. Is it not the BLOOD of the men who went at the risk of their lives? SO HE WOULD NOT DRINK.” And also, {Acts 15:20,28} admonished us to abstain from BLOOD. Please I thought the ‘OT’ said life is in the blood and so we should abstain from tasting blood and if so should we allow BLOOD TRANSFUSION? I really need to understand this so that I can be free from this stronghold and start giving out blood if not.

Many thanks
Sister Sonia

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Jack Wellman April 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Thank you Sister Sonia. I believe the “blood” David was spekaing of was the bloof of the men who has risked their lives “their blood” to get the water for David to drink. What David poured out as an offering was water and yes, you are right, blood is forbidden to drink. One reason is that it is deadly since it carries many pathogens and potenial diseases but the blood David was spoken of in the context of this chapter is that he risked his mens lives to get the water and wouldn’t drink of it because they had risked their lives…their very life…to steal it.

I hope this helps to answer your question. Giving blood is actually good for the health of the giver but in fact saves lives for those who need it. The greatest need is for children who need blood transfusions who are battling cancer. I believe what said, if it is within our power to help, we surely should.

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Sonia April 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Thanks a lot for your well explained illustration Pastor. I used to think if we shouldn’t eat anything made with an animal’s blood then we shouldn’t allow blood transfusion as well, because that blood is part of what we should abstain from. I got this confusing teaching during a study with the Jevovah Witnesses when I travelled somewhere, that for instance, if someone drinks an achoholic drink or takes it in through another means that it is thesame. Hence eating or blood transfusion is an act of disobedience to God’s Word.

Thinking about this seriously.

Many many thanks
Sister Sonia

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Jack Wellman April 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hello Sister Sonia. The first problem I see is that you are listening to the confusing teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is not a good source for biblical truth. Why? Christians believe that Jesus and the Father are One and are both God (John 5:18, John 10:30-31) but Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was created. Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that Jesus first preexisted as the Archangel Michael, although these are two distinct personages. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that after His ascension, He again became Michael to sit on the throne next to God to await the end of the seven “times of the Gentiles.” The fact is that Michael and all the angels were created beings (Colossians 1:16-17, Job 38:4-7) but not so with Jesus Who was hailed as the Messiah before His physical birth even took place (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:16-18; 2:4; Luke 2:11, 26).

If you can show me in the Bible where this is prohibited, then please do. If we are able to help others then we should. Not everyone can give blood, true, but if its within our power to help others, we should. To have a person receive our donated blood is the difference between life and death for them. How can this be seen as “drinking blood?” Please explain. Thank you.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-do-jehovahs-witnesses-believe/

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Sonia April 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Thanks a lot Pastor. I now get it that blood transfusion is not an alternative way to tasting animal’s blood through food as the scripture warns us. I love your teachings and use them for my studies. I just stumbled upon them thinking they were part of the body of Christ and I could learn from them as well. I know not all ministries are perfect, as the Word says that we are all working towards perfection. That was why I was keen to learn but I know better now. Please see this Scripture concerning Jesus’ creation: {Proverbs 8:22-31, EXP} “… I was created in the very beginning, even before the world began…” If Jesus is the ‘Word’ made flesh that dwelt among us, then Jesus, the Son of God was created as the scripture depicts in Proverbs 8: 22-31. I believe Jesus has been exalted to the position of being a God according to Hebrews 1; and that He and Almighty God is One as the Scripture says. When I read your last comment and knew about this scripture in Proverbs, I just felt I should share with my Christian Brother as the Word says in {Pro 27:17}, “Iron sharpeneth iron.”
Thanks a lot for your time and effort to see that I gain knowledge.
Sonia.

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Jack Wellman April 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thank you Sonia. I believe Jesus when He said in John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” It says here and elsewhere BEFORE Abraham. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God and the Word became flesh and John said we “beheld His glory” (John 1). The reference to Proverbs 8:22-31 is the Psalmist speaking, not Jesus.

Anyway, I will leave it at that and allow us to part ways as such.

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Angela Angeles July 9, 2014 at 3:40 am

Thank you for clearing this up! I donate plasma often. Honestly, I need the money and I hope that I can help someone in need at some point in my life. Since my mom recently told me that plasma is used to help burn victims, I really wanted to keep giving. My heart goes out to them. But I had heard about some people saying God doesn’t want us to give blood. So I looked into it and found this article :-) I know the acts scripture where the apostles list laws for believers, one is abstaining from blood. But they mean eating! Thank you very much, my conscience is now clear! :) Gos bless your ministry- Angela

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Jack Wellman July 9, 2014 at 7:50 am

I am so glad this helps. I see no conflict in this at all and I think God is pleased when we give of our time, our blood, and our plasma to help others and can even save lives. I think this is a very Christian thing to do of you Mrs. Angeles. May God richly bless you for your act of kindness.

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Martins December 12, 2014 at 10:22 am

So, if for health reasons I can get someone else’s blood inside of me (may be even by myself), of course without drinking or eating it (because Acts 15 forbids it), then it would be OK? I realy hope you can clarify this for me!

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Jack Wellman December 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

Thank you Martins…yes, receiving a blood transfusion or someone’s blood if they are needing blood due to an accident and these can save lives, why not? If our blood donations can be used to save a life, would we not want to do so? Is life worth this since life is sacred and God is the Author of Life. For those who have the power or ability to save a life, should we not do it? What if you needed a life-saving blood donation to save your life from an accident or if you were undergoing cancer treatment and you needed blood? Many children need these transfusions to save their lives. See what I mean Martins? I hope this answered your question my friend.

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