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Bedfordshire professor authors new organ donation strategy

Organ donation box

Thu 12th December, 2013

THE University's Professor of Diversity in Public Health, Gurch Randhawa, has authored a new action plan aimed at boosting organ donation rates among religious communities.

Developed by religious leaders in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), the Faith Engagement and Organ Donation Action Plan will see a range of initiatives employed to tackle faith-related barriers to organ donation and urge followers to actively support donation.

The plan – the culmination of several months of work to bring together ideas from different religious perspectives – includes:

  • A commitment from faith leaders to work with NHSBT and take on roles as spokespeople and ambassadors, both generally and around specific organ donation campaigns.
  • A review of the languages that NHSBT’s leaflets are translated into to reflect the UK’s increasingly diverse population.
  • Proposals for NHSBT to provide information and training to healthcare chaplains and other faith leaders to include definition and diagnosis of death.
  • Personal stories and examples of best practice, to help tackle common areas of concern and misunderstanding among some religions.
  • Local faith communities, whether in the home, in schools, at work or in places of worship, regularly initiating discussion around organ donation.

Professor Randhawa said: “It is so important for members of the public to discuss organ donation with their family and I am delighted that faith communities are supporting this endeavour.”

A key aim of the plan is to increase donation rates among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the UK, given the urgent need for more organ donors from these communities. While over 1200 people donated their organs after death in the UK during 2012/13, only 56 were from BAME communities. 

Bedfordshire University

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