Why is it that Jewish people don’t donate their organs after death for the purpose of medical research and the advancement of medicine?
The answer is that the Jewish body is not your possession. The Jewish body is sacred. Now, just like a Jew cannot commit suicide because it’s not his body and not his life – it’s only entrusted to him and so it’s like murdering somebody who is entrusted to him – so too you can’t give away your organs. They’re not yours. They belong to Hashem.
And therefore, if in your bequest you tell the physicians that you’re giving away this or that, you are really stealing from Hakodosh Boruch Hu. The Jewish body is so sacred that it has to be interred.
If the doctors are interested in experiments, let them order from India like everybody else does. You can buy a body for fifty dollars. India exports them in big quantities! So it’ll cost the hospitals a little money – that’s no reason for you to allow them to do their experiments on your sacred body that doesn’t even belong to you; let him experiment on others!
TAPE # 179 (August 1977)