By Rabbi Aaron Gol...
March 1, 2012
I was happy to hear Rabbi Danny Rich, the chief executive of Liberal Judaism calling on "Jews of all denominations to register as organ donors."
Rabbi Rich was responding to the evidence of NHS (remember they are the totally reliable organisation we are all trying to save/improve whichever side of the political lines we are)-led events to encourage more people from faith and ethnic communities to join the Organ Donor Register.
I recently attended one of these through our local West Herts Hospitals Trust. The evidence put in front of us was clear - there was a large gap between donations and potential lives saved through transplant operations. No religious person present could provide a conclusive religious argument to deny the promotion of organ donation amongst able and willing donors.
Rabbi Rich said: “It is a moral scandal that, according to statistics supplied to me by health professionals, a thousand people a year die because of lack of an organ. It is my personal view that the Government should have the courage to introduce an opt-out system whereby it is assumed that any person, religious or not, would wish to donate their organs to improve the quality of life – or indeed save the life of another individual. For Jews in particular, the overwhelming mitzvah (commandment) of pikuach nefesh (saving of a life) would lead many of us to such a conclusion.”
Rabbi Rich speaks for LJ nationally.
Speaking for myself, I filled in my form this week.
Speaking for my congregation, I am raising the issue as to whether we promote and opt out or opt in approach.
Your views welcomed.