Organ transplants

world mizrachi (mizrachi@netmedia.net.il)
Wed, 4 Dec 1996 09:01:27 +0200 (IST)

Larry Schechter <lschecht@netzone.com> wrote:
>:I have just been put on the Heart Transplant list. I would like to know of
>:any pertinant Halachas concerning transplantation. Also what are the
>:halochos concerning organ donors. My children would like to know if they can
>:become organ donors.

Perhaps the following news bulletin might be of help:

OVADIA YOSEF RULES KIDNEY DONATIONS PERMISSIBLE, EVEN OBLIGATORY (Israeline
15/11/96)
Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef published a Jewish-law ruling on
Wednesday permitting those who can afford to spare a kidney to donate one to
people in need of transplants, HA'ARETZ reported. The ruling, or Halacha,
applies both to living donors and to those newly deceased, and designates
organ donation a Mitzva -- a Jewish-law commandment. The new Halacha is
being viewed as a breakthrough in the effort to involve the traditional and
religious population in the practice of organ donation. According to
HA'ARETZ, the new Halacha was issued in coordination with the efforts of
former Health Minister Tzachi Hanegbi.

[It is important to note, given two posts about kidney donations, that
there are a number of crucial distinctions between kidney and heart
transplants. A healthy person can donate one kidney and live out a normal
life. Consultation with a knowledgeable Halachic authority is quite
important! --YM]