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It’s a matter of faith and facts

Rev. Dr. .Remonia Chapman is Gift of Life Michigan’s director of public education and community relations and program director of Detroit MOTTEP (Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program). She holds a Doctor of Divinity and serves as associate pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit.

Understanding religious perspectives on organ and tissue donation

One of the misconceptions or barriers that repeatedly arise in conversations about organ and tissue donation is whether it’s permitted based on the beliefs of one’s faith.

To address this, Gift of Life Michigan created “A Matter of Faith,” a video that discusses the important role of faith in the realm of donation. Its production was supported by members of the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit.

Why is faith an important factor in organ and tissue donation?

Faith can significantly influence a person’s attitude and decision regarding organ donation. It’s observed in behavioral sciences and medicine that personal faith beliefs play a crucial role in these decisions.

What challenges exist in faith communities regarding organ donation?

There is a persistent misconception in many faith traditions that organ and tissue donation contradicts spiritual teachings. This issue is addressed in Gift of Life’s “A Matter of Faith” video, which emphasizes the compatibility of faith and the decision to become an organ donor. Most major religions consider donation to be the ultimate act of human kindness.

What is the role of faith leaders in organ donation?

Faith leaders are integral to the health care team, particularly in end-of-life decisions such as organ donation. They work alongside transplant surgeons, nurses, donation coordinators and others to facilitate the process.

How does Gift of Life Michigan view the role of faith in organ donation?

Gift of Life acknowledges the significant role faith and faith leaders can play in organ donation. Collaborations with various religious and healthcare organizations aim to bridge the gap between faith beliefs and the life-saving reality of organ and tissue donation.  

 Remonia is Gift of Life Michigan’s director of public education and community relations and program director of Detroit MOTTEP (Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program). She holds a Doctor of Divinity and serves as associate pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit.   

 Reference: Verhey, Allen D. (2000). “Organ Transplants: Death, Disorganization, and the Need for Religious Ritual”, in Caring Well. Religion, Narrative, and Health Care Ethics, David H. Smith, ed., Louisville: Westminster John Know Press: 47-169.

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