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Donating body parts to science

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  • Bushunow, Peter
    ... a conflict with Orthodoxy --can any ROCOR clergy tell us the Orthodox position on donating/receiving ... This is a very pertinent topic and comes up more
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 30, 2006
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      >Anyone notice the bid for donating body parts to science, there? Seems
      a conflict with >Orthodoxy --can any ROCOR clergy tell us the Orthodox
      position on donating/receiving
      >body parts, dead or alive?

      This is a very pertinent topic and comes up more and more. There is a
      big push to have more organs available for transplant, and I agree with
      Dimitra, this raises very big questions. I'm a doctor, not a priest,
      but let me put some thoughts out on the table and ask for your
      reactions.

      The Fathers did not address such questions directly, as the technology
      for transplantation or even transfusion is quite new. Orthodox are not
      opposed to surgery or medicine in general, but surgery and medicine are
      for the restoration of health for the service of God and His church, not
      for vanity or simply to fulfill human desires. Clearly, our Church
      teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and should be
      treated with respect and care (not idolization in any way, but respect)
      before and after death. The human body should not be bought or sold, or
      treated as a commodity.

      Some examples:
      1. Blood transfusion -- commonly accepted, doesn't harm the health of
      the donor, can be given willingly (typically volunteer donor -- not
      selling blood), frequently restorative and life-saving to the recipient.
      My understanding is that Orthodox Christians can donate and receive
      blood.

      2. Sperm and Egg "donation" or sale. Completely inappropriate -- at
      odds with Blessed Matrimony and marital union which can fulfill, if it
      God's will, God's plan for procreation. Done to fulfill human desires.
      Should not be accepted by Orthodox Christians.

      3. Donation of organs like skin, corneas, bone at time of death. Can
      be very helpful to those in need. Can be done when the heart has
      stopped beating and person is clearly dead and the Priest has had an
      opportunity to say the prayers at death. Typically volunteer donor.

      4. More problematic -- donation of vital organs like heart, lung,
      liver. This raises problem because best (from a medical point of view)
      donors are kept alive on machines, and are declared "brain dead" and
      organs are removed from a still living body. I personally don't think
      the Orthodox church recognizes "brain death." I believe this practice
      leads to considering a living body as a source of parts.

      5. Donation of a "spare" organ like a kidney or part of the liver or
      part of the bone marrow. The donor stays alive and the recipient
      benefits.

      6. Heart transplantation -- The church considers the heart the seat of
      the soul. Some of our bishops have written against this practice.

      7. Donation of body for "medical education" I don't know. Sounds
      altruistic, but would prevent or delay proper burial. The funeral and
      burial services can be served "in absentia" if the body is missing
      (burned or lost at sea) but would be irregular to donate the body to a
      medical school and not be "laid to rest." Maybe I'm selfish, but I
      wouldn't do it.

      I think it would be very helpful for the clergy and the faithful to have
      a document discussing these issues in depth.

      I welcome any thoughts.

      Peter Bushunow
      Medical Oncologist
      Reader, POMOG parish, Rochester, NY


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    • kay fedorets
      Dimitra - this is a topic you may want to ask Fr. Roman about. One of my cousins had a liver transplant... I m sure he has something to say on the topic.
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 30, 2006
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        Dimitra - this is a topic you may want to ask Fr. Roman about. One of my cousins had a liver transplant... I'm sure he has something to say on the topic.

        Ksenia Fedorets

        "Bushunow, Peter" <peter.bushunow@...> wrote:
        >Anyone notice the bid for donating body parts to science, there? Seems
        a conflict with >Orthodoxy --can any ROCOR clergy tell us the Orthodox
        position on donating/receiving
        >body parts, dead or alive?

        This is a very pertinent topic and comes up more and more. There is a
        big push to have more organs available for transplant, and I agree with
        Dimitra, this raises very big questions. I'm a doctor, not a priest,
        but let me put some thoughts out on the table and ask for your
        reactions.

        The Fathers did not address such questions directly, as the technology
        for transplantation or even transfusion is quite new. Orthodox are not
        opposed to surgery or medicine in general, but surgery and medicine are
        for the restoration of health for the service of God and His church, not
        for vanity or simply to fulfill human desires. Clearly, our Church
        teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and should be
        treated with respect and care (not idolization in any way, but respect)
        before and after death. The human body should not be bought or sold, or
        treated as a commodity.

        Some examples:
        1. Blood transfusion -- commonly accepted, doesn't harm the health of
        the donor, can be given willingly (typically volunteer donor -- not
        selling blood), frequently restorative and life-saving to the recipient.
        My understanding is that Orthodox Christians can donate and receive
        blood.

        2. Sperm and Egg "donation" or sale. Completely inappropriate -- at
        odds with Blessed Matrimony and marital union which can fulfill, if it
        God's will, God's plan for procreation. Done to fulfill human desires.
        Should not be accepted by Orthodox Christians.

        3. Donation of organs like skin, corneas, bone at time of death. Can
        be very helpful to those in need. Can be done when the heart has
        stopped beating and person is clearly dead and the Priest has had an
        opportunity to say the prayers at death. Typically volunteer donor.

        4. More problematic -- donation of vital organs like heart, lung,
        liver. This raises problem because best (from a medical point of view)
        donors are kept alive on machines, and are declared "brain dead" and
        organs are removed from a still living body. I personally don't think
        the Orthodox church recognizes "brain death." I believe this practice
        leads to considering a living body as a source of parts.

        5. Donation of a "spare" organ like a kidney or part of the liver or
        part of the bone marrow. The donor stays alive and the recipient
        benefits.

        6. Heart transplantation -- The church considers the heart the seat of
        the soul. Some of our bishops have written against this practice.

        7. Donation of body for "medical education" I don't know. Sounds
        altruistic, but would prevent or delay proper burial. The funeral and
        burial services can be served "in absentia" if the body is missing
        (burned or lost at sea) but would be irregular to donate the body to a
        medical school and not be "laid to rest." Maybe I'm selfish, but I
        wouldn't do it.

        I think it would be very helpful for the clergy and the faithful to have
        a document discussing these issues in depth.

        I welcome any thoughts.

        Peter Bushunow
        Medical Oncologist
        Reader, POMOG parish, Rochester, NY


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        Thank You,
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      • Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
        Very good post! No heart transplants for Orthodox Christians, but is the Lord says: Matthew 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 30, 2006
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          Very good post!

          No heart transplants for Orthodox Christians, but is the Lord says:

          Matthew 5:30
          And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it
          away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for
          your whole body to go into hell.

          Mark 9:47
          And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you
          to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be
          thrown into hell,

          Mark 9:45
          And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you
          to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

          then we can surly >>>do good for others<<< and still be worthy to
          enter the kingdom, so to say WITHOUT a certain part of our body!

          Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko



          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Bushunow, Peter"
          <peter.bushunow@v...> wrote:
          >
          > >Anyone notice the bid for donating body parts to science, there?
          Seems
          > a conflict with >Orthodoxy --can any ROCOR clergy tell us the
          Orthodox
          > position on donating/receiving
          > >body parts, dead or alive?
          >
          > This is a very pertinent topic and comes up more and more. There
          is a
          > big push to have more organs available for transplant, and I agree
          with
          > Dimitra, this raises very big questions. I'm a doctor, not a
          priest,
          > but let me put some thoughts out on the table and ask for your
          > reactions.
          >
          > The Fathers did not address such questions directly, as the
          technology
          > for transplantation or even transfusion is quite new. Orthodox are
          not
          > opposed to surgery or medicine in general, but surgery and medicine
          are
          > for the restoration of health for the service of God and His
          church, not
          > for vanity or simply to fulfill human desires. Clearly, our Church
          > teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and should
          be
          > treated with respect and care (not idolization in any way, but
          respect)
          > before and after death. The human body should not be bought or
          sold, or
          > treated as a commodity.
          >
          > Some examples:
          > 1. Blood transfusion -- commonly accepted, doesn't harm the health
          of
          > the donor, can be given willingly (typically volunteer donor -- not
          > selling blood), frequently restorative and life-saving to the
          recipient.
          > My understanding is that Orthodox Christians can donate and receive
          > blood.
          >
          > 2. Sperm and Egg "donation" or sale. Completely inappropriate --
          at
          > odds with Blessed Matrimony and marital union which can fulfill, if
          it
          > God's will, God's plan for procreation. Done to fulfill human
          desires.
          > Should not be accepted by Orthodox Christians.
          >
          > 3. Donation of organs like skin, corneas, bone at time of death.
          Can
          > be very helpful to those in need. Can be done when the heart has
          > stopped beating and person is clearly dead and the Priest has had an
          > opportunity to say the prayers at death. Typically volunteer donor.
          >
          > 4. More problematic -- donation of vital organs like heart, lung,
          > liver. This raises problem because best (from a medical point of
          view)
          > donors are kept alive on machines, and are declared "brain dead" and
          > organs are removed from a still living body. I personally don't
          think
          > the Orthodox church recognizes "brain death." I believe this
          practice
          > leads to considering a living body as a source of parts.
          >
          > 5. Donation of a "spare" organ like a kidney or part of the liver
          or
          > part of the bone marrow. The donor stays alive and the recipient
          > benefits.
          >
          > 6. Heart transplantation -- The church considers the heart the
          seat of
          > the soul. Some of our bishops have written against this practice.
          >
          > 7. Donation of body for "medical education" I don't know. Sounds
          > altruistic, but would prevent or delay proper burial. The funeral
          and
          > burial services can be served "in absentia" if the body is missing
          > (burned or lost at sea) but would be irregular to donate the body
          to a
          > medical school and not be "laid to rest." Maybe I'm selfish, but I
          > wouldn't do it.
          >
          > I think it would be very helpful for the clergy and the faithful to
          have
          > a document discussing these issues in depth.
          >
          > I welcome any thoughts.
          >
          > Peter Bushunow
          > Medical Oncologist
          > Reader, POMOG parish, Rochester, NY
          >
          >
          >
          **********************************************************************
          > This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
          > intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
          > are addressed. If you have received this email in error please
          delete it from your system.
          >
          > This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept
          for
          > the presence of computer viruses.
          >
          > Thank You,
          > Viahealth
          >
          **********************************************************************
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Fr. John McCuen
          This topic was extensively discussed at a clergy conference for the Western American DIocese of ROCOR a few years ago. As Fr. Stefan Pavlenko has already
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 30, 2006
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            This topic was extensively discussed at a clergy conference for the
            Western American DIocese of ROCOR a few years ago. As Fr. Stefan
            Pavlenko has already noted, the "bottom line" of the discussion was
            that it is not appropriate for Orthodox Christians to either donate
            their heart, or receive a heart transplant; but that other organ
            transplants are permitted, as is the donation of blood, skin, the
            cornea, and so on.

            The discussion did not, as I recall, touch on the donation or sale of
            human ova or sperm; but I think your comments, Peter, on that
            particular point, are in line with the overall understanding we
            established at that conference, and such actions are not appropriate
            for Orthodox Christians.

            Your unworthy servant in Christ,
            Priest John McCuen
            Holy Archangels Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
            Phoenix, AZ
          • Gilbert Gamboa
            Donation of Organs Although nothing in the Orthodox tradition requires the faithful to donate their organs to others, never the less, this practice may be
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 30, 2006
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              Donation of Organs Although nothing in the Orthodox tradition requires the faithful to donate their organs to others, never the less, this practice may be considered an act of love, and as such is encour­aged. The decision to donate a duplicate organ, such as a kidney, while the donor is living, requires much consideration and should be made in con­sultation with medical professionals and one's spiritual father. The donation of an organ from a deceased person is also an act of love that helps to make possible for the recipient a longer, fuller life. Such donations are acceptable if the deceased donor had willed such action, or if surviving relatives permit it providing that it was in harmony with the desires of the deceased. Such actions can be approved as an expression of love and if they express the self-determination of the donor. In all cases, respect for the body of the donor should be maintained.
              Organ transplants should never be commercial­ized nor coerced nor take placed without proper consent, nor place in jeopardy the identity of the donor or recipient, such as the use of animal organs. Nor should the death of the donor be hastened in order to harvest organs for trans­plantation to another person.

              "Fr. John McCuen" <frjohnmcc@...> wrote:
              This topic was extensively discussed at a clergy conference for the
              Western American DIocese of ROCOR a few years ago. As Fr. Stefan
              Pavlenko has already noted, the "bottom line" of the discussion was
              that it is not appropriate for Orthodox Christians to either donate
              their heart, or receive a heart transplant; but that other organ
              transplants are permitted, as is the donation of blood, skin, the
              cornea, and so on.

              The discussion did not, as I recall, touch on the donation or sale of
              human ova or sperm; but I think your comments, Peter, on that
              particular point, are in line with the overall understanding we
              established at that conference, and such actions are not appropriate
              for Orthodox Christians.

              Your unworthy servant in Christ,
              Priest John McCuen
              Holy Archangels Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
              Phoenix, AZ





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            • Philosoph Uhlman
              This topic recently came up another Forum. The following item is from Basis of the social concept of the Russian Orthodox Church It deals with alot of
              Message 6 of 8 , Jan 30, 2006
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                This topic recently came up another Forum. The following item is from "Basis of the social concept of the Russian Orthodox Church" It deals with alot of topics.

                http://www.mospat.ru/index.php?mid=192&lng=1

                Here is a pertinent portion on organ donation:

                XII. 7. The modern transplantology (the theory and practice of the transplantation of organs and tissues) makes it possible to give effective aid to many patients who were earlier doomed to death or severe disability. At the same time, the development of this sphere of medicine, increasing the need for necessary organs, generates certain ethical problems and can present a threat to society. Thus, the unscrupulous propaganda of donoring and the commercialisation of transplanting create prerequisites for trade in parts of the human body, thus threatening the life and health of people. The Church believes that human organs cannot be viewed as objects of purchase and sale. The transplantation of organs from a living donor can be based only on the voluntary self-sacrifice for the sake of another's life. In this case, the consent to explantation (removal of an organ) becomes a manifestation of love and compassion. However, a potential donor should be fully informed about possible
                consequences of the explantation of his organ for his health. The explantation that presents an immediate threat to the life of a donor is morally inadmissible. The most common of all is the practice of taking organs from people who have just died. In these cases, any uncertainty as to the moment of death should be excluded. It is unacceptable to shorten the life of one, also by refusing him the life-supporting treatment, in order to prolong the life of another.

                The Church confesses, on the basis of Divine Revelation, the faith in the bodily resurrection of the dead (Is. 26:19; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 52-54; Phil. 3:21). In the Christian burial, the Church expressed the reverence that befits the body of a dead. However, the posthumous giving of organs and tissues can be a manifestation of love spreading also to the other side of death. Such donation or will cannot be considered a duty. Therefore, the voluntary consent of a donor in his lifetime is the condition on which explantation can be legitimate and ethically acceptable. If doctors do not know the will of a potential donor, they should, if necessary, find it out the will of a dying or dead person from his relatives. The so-called presumptive consent of a potential donor to the removal of his organs and tissues, sealed in the legislation of some countries, is considered by the Church to be an inadmissible violation of human freedom.

                A recipient assimilates donor organs and tissues entering his personal spiritual and physical integrity. Therefore, in no circumstances moral justification can be given to the transplantation that threatens the identity of a recipient, affecting his uniqueness as personality and representative of a species. It is especially important to remember this condition in solving problems involved in the transplantation of animal organs and tissues.

                The Church believes it to be definitely inadmissible to use the methods of so-called foetal therapy, in which the human foetus on various stages of its development is aborted and used in attempts to treat various diseases and to 'rejuvenate' an organism. Denouncing abortion as a cardinal sin, the Church cannot find any justification for it either even if someone may possibly benefit from the destruction of a conceived human life. Contributing inevitably to ever wider spread and commercialisation of abortion, this practice (even if its still hypothetical effectiveness could be proved scientifically) presents an example of glaring immorality and is criminal.

                XII. 8. The practice of the removal of human organs suitable for transplantation and the development of intensive care therapy has posed the problem of the verification of the moment of death. Earlier the criterion for it was the irreversible stop of breathing and blood circulation. Thanks to the improvement of intensive care technologies, however, these vital functions can be artificially supported for a long time. Death is thus turned into dying dependent on the doctor's decision, which places a qualitatively new responsibility on contemporary medicine.

                Holy Scriptures treats death as the separation of the soul from the body (Ps. 146:4; Lk. 12:20). Thus it is possible to speak about a continuing life as long as an organism functions as a whole. The prolongation of life by artificial means, in which in fact only some organs continue to function, cannot be viewed as obligatory and in any case desirable task of medicine. Attempts to delay death will sometimes prolong a patient's agony, thus depriving him of the right to 'honourable and peaceful' death, for which the Orthodox Christian solicit the Lord during the liturgy. When intensive care becomes impossible, its place should be taken by palliative aid (anaesthetisation, nursing and social and psychological support) and pastoral care. All this is aimed to ensure the true humane end of life couched in by mercy and love.

                The Orthodox understanding of an honourable death includes preparation for the mortal end, which is considered to be a spiritually significant stage in the life of a person. A patient surrounded with Christian care can experience in the last days of his life on earth a grace-giving change brought about by a new reflection on his journey and penitent anticipation of eternity. For the relatives of a dying man and for medical workers, an opportunity to nurse him becomes an opportunity to serve the Lord Himself. For according to the Saviour's word, 'inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me' (Mt. 25:40). The attempt to conceal from a patient the information about the gravity of his condition under the pretext of preserving his spiritual comfort often deprives a dying person of an opportunity to be consciously prepared for death and to find spiritual consolation in participation in the Sacraments of the Church. It also darkens h
                is relations with relatives and doctors with distrust.

                Death throes cannot be always effectively alleviated with anaesthetics. Aware of this, the Church in these cases turns to God with the prayer: 'Give Thy servant dispensation from this unendurable suffering and its bitter infirmities and give him consolation, O Soul of the righteous' (Service Book. Prayer for the Long Suffering). The Lord alone is the Master of life and death (1 Sam. 2:6). 'In his hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind' (Job 12:10). Therefore, the Church, while remaining faithful to God's commandment 'thou shalt not kill' (Ex. 20:13), cannot recognise as morally acceptable the widely-spread attempt to legalise the so-called euthanasia, that is, the purposeful destruction of hopelessly ill patients (also by their own will). The request of a patient to speed up his death is sometimes conditioned by depression preventing him from assessing his condition correctly. Legalised euthanasia would lead to the devaluation of the dignity an
                d the corruption of the professional duty of the doctor called to preserve rather than end life. 'The right to death' can easily become a threat to the life of patients whose treatment is hampered by lack of funds.

                Therefore, euthanasia is a form of homicide or suicide, depending on whether a patient participates in it or not. If he does, euthanasia comes under the canons whereby both the purposeful suicide and assistance in it are viewed as a grave sin. A perpetrator of calculated suicide, who 'did it out of human resentment or other incident of faintheartedness' shall not be granted Christian burial or liturgical commemoration (Timothy of Alexandria, Canon 14). If a suicide is committed 'out of mind', that is, in a fit of a mental disease, the church prayer for the perpetrator is allowed after the case is investigated by the ruling bishop. At the same time, it should be remembered that more often than not the blame for a suicide lies also with the people around the perpetrator who proved incapable of effective compassion and mercy. Together with St. Paul the Church calls us: 'Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ' (Gal. 6:2).
              • DDD
                Dear Dr. Bushunow, I want to thank you for your very clear elucidation and differentiation between the different types of organ donations, and description of
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 31, 2006
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                  Dear Dr. Bushunow,
                  I want to thank you for your very clear elucidation and differentiation between the different types of organ donations, and description of how these various types of donation are accomplished. Was particularly astounded by the "brain dead" one!
                  I, too, look forward to clergy comments on your excellent evaluation. It can help us all know how to deal with this, because it does come up.

                  Also, was wondering, are we allowed to give blood on a day that we have received Holy Communion?


                  --Dimitra








                  This is a very pertinent topic and comes up more and more. �There is a
                  big push to have more organs available for transplant, and I agree with
                  Dimitra, this raises very big questions. �I'm a doctor, not a priest,
                  but let me put some thoughts out on the table and ask for your
                  reactions.

                  The Fathers did not address such questions directly, as the technology
                  for transplantation or even transfusion is quite new. �Orthodox are not
                  opposed to surgery or medicine in general, but surgery and medicine are
                  for the restoration of health for the service of God and His church, not
                  for vanity or simply to fulfill human desires. �Clearly, our Church
                  teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and should be
                  treated with respect and care (not idolization in any way, but respect)
                  before and after death. �The human body should not be bought or sold, or
                  treated as a commodity.

                  Some examples:
                  1. �Blood transfusion -- commonly accepted, doesn't harm the health of
                  the donor, can be given willingly (typically volunteer donor -- not
                  selling blood), frequently restorative and life-saving to the recipient.
                  My understanding is that Orthodox Christians can donate and receive
                  blood.

                  2. �Sperm and Egg "donation" or sale. �Completely inappropriate -- at
                  odds with Blessed Matrimony and marital union which can fulfill, if it
                  God's will, God's plan for procreation. �Done to fulfill human desires.
                  Should not be accepted by Orthodox Christians.

                  3. �Donation of organs like skin, corneas, bone at time of death. �Can
                  be very helpful to those in need. �Can be done when the heart has
                  stopped beating and person is clearly dead and the Priest has had an
                  opportunity to say the prayers at death. �Typically volunteer donor.

                  4. �More problematic -- donation of vital organs like heart, lung,
                  liver. �This raises problem because best (from a medical point of view)
                  donors are kept alive on machines, and are declared "brain dead" and
                  organs are removed from a still living body. �I personally don't think
                  the Orthodox church recognizes "brain death." �I believe this practice
                  leads to considering a living body as a source of parts.

                  5. �Donation of a "spare" organ like a kidney or part of the liver or
                  part of the bone marrow. �The donor stays alive and the recipient
                  benefits.

                  6. �Heart transplantation -- The church considers the heart the seat of
                  the soul. �Some of our bishops have written against this practice.

                  7. �Donation of body for "medical education" �I don't know. �Sounds
                  altruistic, but would prevent or delay proper burial. �The funeral and
                  burial services can be served "in absentia" if the body is missing
                  (burned or lost at sea) but would be irregular to donate the body to a
                  medical school and not be "laid to rest." �Maybe I'm selfish, but I
                  wouldn't do it.

                  I think it would be very helpful for the clergy and the faithful to have
                  a document discussing these issues in depth.

                  I welcome any thoughts.

                  Peter Bushunow
                  Medical Oncologist
                  Reader, POMOG parish, Rochester, NY


                  **********************************************************************
                  This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
                  intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
                  are addressed. If you have received this email in error please delete it from your system.

                  This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for
                  the presence of computer viruses.

                  Thank You,
                  Viahealth
                  **********************************************************************


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                  Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod


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                • michael nikitin
                  The reason the heart is not allowed is because one would have to take the heart out before the person dies, in effect killing him. The same with other body
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 1, 2006
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                    The reason the heart is not allowed is because one would have to take the heart out
                    before the person dies, in effect killing him. The same with other body organs,
                    which when taken out would kill us.

                    Transplants that do no harm to either the recipient or donor are allowed, unless it's done for vanity. In which case it isn't forbidden, but is inappropriate and doesn't help us in our goal for salvation.

                    It is interesting if for our love of our fellow man, would it be inappropriate to
                    donate the heart if it had a chance to save him, knowing we were dying and it would quickly terminate our life in saving another? Would this be viewed as giving a life to save another? Science can bring more problems for us of little faith.

                    Michael N

                    "Fr. John McCuen" <frjohnmcc@...> wrote:
                    This topic was extensively discussed at a clergy conference for the
                    Western American DIocese of ROCOR a few years ago. As Fr. Stefan
                    Pavlenko has already noted, the "bottom line" of the discussion was
                    that it is not appropriate for Orthodox Christians to either donate
                    their heart, or receive a heart transplant; but that other organ
                    transplants are permitted, as is the donation of blood, skin, the
                    cornea, and so on.

                    The discussion did not, as I recall, touch on the donation or sale of
                    human ova or sperm; but I think your comments, Peter, on that
                    particular point, are in line with the overall understanding we
                    established at that conference, and such actions are not appropriate
                    for Orthodox Christians.

                    Your unworthy servant in Christ,
                    Priest John McCuen
                    Holy Archangels Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
                    Phoenix, AZ




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