Why talk about Organ Donation?
“10 month old Qasim became seriously ill with life threatening liver failure and needed urgent liver transplant but his mother was told that Qasim may have to wait longer than other children as there are not many donors from ethnic minority groups (1).”
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups represent 11% of the UK population but account for 35% of people waiting for a transplant (2). Last year, 21% of those who died while waiting for an organ were from a BAME background.
These statistics suggest that there are not enough donors from the BAME population. In other words, if you are a member of the BAME community, you are more likely to suffer longer or die waiting for an organ.
Alhumdulillah, Qasim survived and is now leading a normal healthy life because of a generous organ donor – a stranger who donated the gift of life! However, many others from the BAME population may not be as fortunate.
(2) - Organ Donation and transplantation data for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities report for 2017/2018 https://nhsbtdbe.blob.core.windows.net/umbraco-assets-corp/12048/bame-organ-donation-and-transplantation-data-2017-18.pdf
Change of organ donation law
From Spring 2020, organ donation in England will change to an ‘opt out’ system (3)
This means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to donate their organs when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate - people will still have a choice.
The news of the law change may see mass opt-out from the BAME population if there is a lack of knowledge about the UK organ donation process, the ethical code of the NHS and the opinions of religious scholars.
Mass opt-out from the BAME population will further increase the number of BAME people waiting on the transplant list and dying with organ failure due to a lack of a suitable match.
BIMA Organ Donation National Campaign
To help people make an informed choice, BIMA is organising a national campaign to increase awareness about organ donation among the Muslim population.
We started our campaign with the first event which took place in Newcastle upon Tyne on the 23rd of June 2019.
We invited several Islamic scholars, medical experts as well as patients who suffered from organ failure to speak and have an open discussion with members of the community to help them make an informed choice.
If you would like to be a part of this campaign or collaborate with us please email [email protected]
BIMA is now planning to organise more such programmes nationally as well as engage with the community regarding this important issue with the help of electronic and social media, video podcasts and by writing articles.
This will not be possible if we do not have enough volunteers to work for this cause. Join us to help make a difference and increase the awareness of this vital issue at this critical time for the benefit of the community.