South Africans are in dire need of organs and tissues for transplantation. The impact is felt by many, irrespective of colour, creed or religion. No known studies have been conducted amongst Baptists in South Africa to determine their point of view on the subject. My own personal experience as both a Baptist pastor and now as procurement operations manager of a bone tissue centre, has shown that most people are ignorant and uninformed about bone tissue donation and also, to a lesser degree about organ donation. This study seeks to ascertain what a representative group of Baptist delegates who attended the annual Northern Baptist Association Assembly in June 2005 think about organ and tissue donation. Their views were obtained by means of an empirical study. The results are interpreted to determine if they are in favour of or against organ and tissue donation. It is important to note their beliefs regarding the Scriptural position on donation and whether Christians could be encouraged from the Word to become organ and tissue donors or not. Donation of organs and tissue benefits not only the recipient or patient, but also affects the donor family, or next-of-kin. The study aims to determine if the respondents felt that organ and tissue donation holds pastoral benefits to the donor families and recipients. Baptists and other Christian denominations have a responsibility to preach God’s Word and to apply it to real-world situations. Death and donation of organs and tissue is a reality that our people face, often unprepared and less than properly informed. I trust that the findings of this study will be of assistance to pastors and teachers whose desire it is to inform and educate their congregations about the selfless gift of organ and tissue donation.
Dissertation (MA (Research in Practical Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.