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?
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).
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.
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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