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  • Halacha
  • Blood and Organ Donation

Organ donation of non-vital organs


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

25 Iyyar 5766
I know the halacha regarding the donation of organs for the purposes of pikuach nefesh- but I was wondering what the halachah would be regarding the donations of things such as cornea’s. It is obvious that the recipients life would be infinitely better if they could be see, rather than be blind, but at the same time it is not a life saving procedure. Would such a donation be allowed (taking into acocunt the normal parameters of making sure the donor is halachicly dead and so on.)
This is a disputed heavy Halachic question by the greatest authorities of our generation, so for a practical answer you must consult your rabbi. In general there are two main opinions for cornea donations; Those who forbid it since it is not a life saving procedure and it violates other restrictions to do with the dead body. (Minchat Yitzchak 5: 8; Tzitz Eliezer 13: 91) Others permit since eye sight is counted as a vital need and for other reasons. (See Yachel Yisrael 83)
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