Background: The decision to donate organs is an essential step in the process prior to transplantation. Religious leaders play an important role in decision-making in Islamic countries. The aim of this study is to reveal the attitudes of Islamic religious officials toward organ donation and transplantation.
Methods: The study group for this cross-sectional research consisted of 165 religious people. A questionnaire was provided to the study group, asking about socio-demographic features, behaviors, and attitudes toward organ donation.
Results: Most of the religious leaders who responded (71.5%) believe that donation is appropriate according to Islamic beliefs. Only 51.5% of those surveyed indicated a willingness to donate, however. Only three of the officials had donor cards. More than half (57.6%) declared that people had asked them for advice and opinions on organ donation. Among the religious officials, 32.7% said that they do not have enough knowledge about organ donation.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that consultation with a religious leader on organ donation is an important source of information for the community, providing an opportunity to improve the current organ donation rates. This study indicates that education, especially directed toward religious leaders, to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation would help to improve those rates.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.