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Organ donation and religion

What do the major religions think about organ donation?

All the major religions in the UK support the principles of organ donation and transplantation, accepting that organ donation is an individual choice. It is very important that people from all backgrounds donate organs, as there is a much better success rate when transplants are carried out within the same ethnic group. Black and Asian people are twice as likely to need a kidney transplant than white people, so there is an even greater need for more black and Asian donors.

In general with the exception of a few religious groups such as Shintoists, Rastafarians and Romany Gypsies, all major world religions either actively or passively support organ donation or are neutral.


In general, there are no injunctions for, or against, organ donation. If you’re in doubt, a senior teacher within the tradition can give you guidance. Download our booklet for more information.


In principle, Judaism supports and encourages organ donation. As all cases are different, Jewish law requires consultation with a competent Rabbinic authority. Download our booklet for more information.


The fatwa from the Muslim Law (Shariah) Council UK supports organ transplantation. However, some scholars believe organ donation isn’t permissible – so you may want to seek individual advice from your Imam. Download our booklet for more information.


There are many references that support the concept of organ donation in Hindu scriptures, and it is an integral part of the Hindu way of life, as guided by the Vedas. Download our booklet for more information.


Sikh teachings emphasise the importance of giving and putting others before oneself – and it’s believed the physical body is not needed in the continuous cycle of rebirth – a person’s soul is their real essence. Download our booklet for more information.


Christians consider organ donation as a genuine act of love and a way of following Jesus’ example of helping others in need. Download our booklet for more information.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

According to the Watch Tower Society, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe donation is a matter for individual decision.