Friday, January 14, 2011

Brain Death and Organ Donation

There has been much discussion in the Orthodox community recently around the issue of brain-stem death and organ donation, and last week I authored a statement in strong support of the brain death definition and of the mitzvah to donate organs upon death.   

As of now, the statement has been signed by over 100 rabbis, including some of the most prominent ones in the Modern Orthodox community.  Signers include: Rabbi Avi Weiss, Rav Yuval Cherlow, Rav Benny Lau, Rav Yehuda Gilad, Rav Dovid Bigman, Rav Yoel Bin Nun, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi Binyamin Walfish (past Executive Director of the RCA), Rabbi Herzl Hefter, Rabbi Yosef Adler, Rabbi Joel Tessler, Rabbi Mayer Lichtenstein and Rabbi Tully Harcsztak.

Thankfully, we have received a good deal of press, which will hopefully do some good in shaping the public perception of the permissibility and mitzvah of organ donation. See the articles in:

Please urge your local rabbi and other rabbis that you know to consider signing on as well.  They just need to send an email to with their name and location (and affiliation, if they desire).  You can be part of this important effort to change the community's perception and to help save lives!

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