(This is an extension to the previous article ‘To Donate Or Not To Donate Organs?’ at https://purelanders.com/2011/12/17/to-donate-or-not-to-donate-organs/)
It was mentioned that ‘cutting up [of he body] by medical students for study usually happens some time later; in contrast to great immediacy for organ donation.’ However, although there is no immediate cutting, there is the likelihood of the body being put through quick freezing in a cold room in a hospital. The exact swiftness of doing so has to be checked with individual hospitals. The speed of entering cold storage is determined by how quickly death is reported too.
Even if there is no physical pain from being cut due to the consciousness being attached to the body, there might be physical discomfort from the cold – again, only if the consciousness is still attached. Such coldness might be similar to being in a cold hell (寒冰地狱). Indeed, as the sensitivity of the senses is heightened many times, this makes the touch of coldness more ‘hellish’ than usual.
If there is passing away at odd (inconvenient) hours in a hospital, with uncertainty of the deceased’s readiness to donate his or her organs or body, it is better to play safe, to quickly arrange for the body to be moved out of hospital in the midst of continual support-chanting, so as to avoid entering the cold room. Thus, the factor of touch (pain from cutting and discomfort from cold) for consideration between organ or body donation is similar.
It is good to remember that most of us are ordinary humans with ordinary habitual attachment to our bodies and ordinary thresholds for pain and discomfort. Again, it is important not to be shortsighted, to insist on donations of a few organs or one body, while possibly jeopardising the ability to secure the best rebirth in Pure Land, whereupon we will be able to train to be truly selfless Bodhisattvas to help beings in immeasurably more ways.
[A way to realistically gauge if we are ready for organ or body donation is to reflect on whether we can easily drop all attachment to the entire body (e.g. not feel distracted by the body or any bodily sensation) when practising nianfo. If one can easily let go of the body in everyday nianfo, and easily connect to Amituofo’s blessings, one is much likelier to be ready.]
To Donate Or Not To Donate Organs?