Controversy Over Organ Donation May Cause Difficulty in Organ Harvesting
On January 12, The Guardian published an article which stated that the London Beth Din and its Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks had said that organ donation is not in line with the Jewish law. Beth Din is a religious court which is linked to the United Synagogue.
The rabbi’s guidelines have sparked of a debate regarding the legality of organ donation. According to the guidelines, a person is declared dead under traditional Jewish law only if his heart and respiratory system stop working.
Beth Din’s ruling stated that the brain stem death is not death for heart and lung donation. Later an article appeared in The Lancelet which criticized the decision of Beth din. The article stated that the doctors have become anxious because of the ruling. It said that the revelation is coming at a time when organ donation is being encouraged by countries throughout the world.
Also, it would now be tough for the physicians who gather organs so that they can be successfully transplanted in other patients. These organs are to be kept close to alive. Therefore, the physicians often keep the heart and lung beating with artificial methods even if a person’s brain has stopped working.
This method gives rise to serious ethical and religious issues.