- Jul 14, 2020
Father John Mack, a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, needs a liver transplant — from a living donor.
Dr. John Haas, President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, says that beneath specific conundrums that arise in the field of bioethics these days lies a deeper challenge that the Catholic Church is uniquely equipped to address: A ‘de-valuing’ of human beings, which turns the weak and vulnerable into commodities to be exploited by the wealthy and powerful.
Nearly 118,000 people in the United States are waiting for a transplant, and more than 20 people die every day waiting for a suitable organ. The odds are long for most who are awaiting organs. Each year, the number of people on the waiting list grows, while only about 2 percent of donated organs can be used. Pope Francis has called the act of organ donation “a testimony of love for our neighbor.”
Driverless cars probably won’t create the shortage of organ donors one recent article seemed alarmed about, but it’s still a good time for Catholics to reflect on what Pope Benedict XVI called the “gift of love” of organ donation … and also what that gift really entails.