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Is It Permissible to Sell Kidneys?

Does the Islamic law deem selling Kidneys permissible or does it raise objections against it? Is it right if someone states in their will that their kidneys be donated or sold?

Ijtihadnetwork: Nowadays we encounter some people who sell their kidneys in return for some payment. These attempts have been seen in the form of advertisements from time to time. Is that religiously permissible? Does the religious law deem it permissible or does it raise objections against it? Is it right if someone states in their will that their kidneys be donated or sold?

Here are the answers to this question provided by the Some Shia religious authorities (Marja al-Taqlid):

Ayatollah Khamenei (May Allah Prolong his life)

There is no objection if the donation/selling will not inflict any considerable harm on the donator/seller, especially if that is the only way to save a respectful Muslim’s life.

Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani (May Allah Prolong his life):

Selling or donating a kidney by a living person is not religiously permitted and even if it is stated in their will, it is invalid. However, if using a dead person’s kidney incontestably proves to be the only way of saving a particular person’s life, it is apparently[1]permissible.

Ayatollah Sistani (May Allah Prolong his life):

Cutting off a part of the body of a living person, e.g. an eye, hand, etc., in order to transplantation others is not religiously permitted if it will cause significant harm to the owner. However, if it will not cause any significant harm, for example when a part of the skin or the spinal cord or a kidney is transplanted (when the other kidney is healthy), provided that the donor/seller (excluding children or insane people) contents to it, it is religiously permissible.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (May Allah Prolong his life):

Selling organs whose lack can be compensated for by other organs, for example either of the two kidneys, is not impermissible, although it could be religiously recommended to receive the payment in return for the permission for the transplant rather than in return for the organ itself.

Ayatollah Nouri Hamdani (May Allah Prolong his life):

Receiving money (payment) in return for some organs like kidney has no impediment (It is permissible)

Ayatollah Bahjat (May Allah Bless his soul):

If a person intends to donate/sell one of their organs, such as a kidney, or if they state in their will for the organ to be transplanted for free or in return for payment after their death, it is not impermissible provided that it proves to be the only available option to save a Muslim’s life and that it is impossible to obtain it from a non-Muslim.

Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Saeed al-Hakim

Question: Is it permissible to sell a kidney or other similar organs, whether or not the owner is in financial need? What is the general rule concerning the validity and permissibility of selling bodily organs?

Answer: It is of obligatory precaution not to sell organs, especially those bodily organs that are vital for one`s health (like kidney). However, if the seller is frightened that cutting off that organ endangers their health, it will be forbidden.

Question: Is it religiously permissible for a poor person who is in financial need to sell their bodily organs?

Answer: It is of obligatory precaution not to sell bodily organs, especially those organs that are vital for one`s health (like kidney). However, if cutting off that organ endangers donor/seller health, it will be forbidden (Haram).

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Reference

[1] In practice, it means that it is permissible.

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