Follow us on:

Informing American Muslims about Living Donation [I AM a LD]

Project Overview

Many studies note that Muslims share health beliefs, values, and experiences that impact healthcare behaviors across ethnic and racial lines. In addition to sharing a theo-centric framework of health and disease, many Muslims look to Islamic ethico-legal guidelines to decide which medical treatments and procedures are permissible.
There is a difference of opinion within Islamic law and among Muslim scholars on the permissibility of organ donation contributing to knowledge gaps within Muslim communities. Our project began by seeking to define these knowledge gaps aiding in the design religiously-tailored, peer-led group education workshops conducted in mosques.
Organ donation and end-of-life care attitudes are impacted by biomedical and religious knowledge gaps. This project aimed to deliver and test the effectiveness of religiously-tailored, mosque-based educational workshops that discuss the biomedical and religious aspects of end-of-life care and living organ donation.

Project Aims

The purpose of developing these workshops was to empower the Muslim community to make informed decisions by:

  1. Enhancing workshop attendee knowledge of the benefits and risks, understanding of religious arguments for and against, and biomedical knowledge about the process and types of living organ donation

  2. Enhancing workshop attendee knowledge of the benefits and risks, and understanding of religious arguments for and against different medical decisions and procedures during end-of-life care

Why Organ Donation?

The disparity between supply and demand for life-saving and/or life-sustaining organs is well-known and contributes to over 140 people on the waiting list per week dying in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).The situation for ethnic and racial minorities is even more dire as, not only do biological factors make finding appropriate matches more difficult, organ donors rarely come from such backgrounds (Health Resources and Services Administration).

2017 Organ Donors and Wait-list Recipients Ethnic Breakdown

*Note: there is no specific data on Muslims overall, nor on South Asians and Arabs (Arabs are classified as white in most organ donation research). To view national data reports on waiting lists and donation rates, click HERE.

Findings from Community based surveys in Michigan and Chicago

What Are American Muslim Attitudes Towards Organ Donation?

American Muslim attitudes towards organ donation are more negative compared to the general US population which has a > 95% support rate. The gaps can be contributed towards lack of religious and biomedical knowledge to make informed decisions regarding organ donation.

Why End-of-Life Care?

Muslim patients and physicians grapple with questions about ethical obligations of providers and families during end-of-life healthcare. Identified issues of uncertainty include: withholding and withdrawing life sustaining treatment and whether or not brain death equates to true death according to Islam.

Replication Toolkit

Replication Guide

Community members who are interested in replicating religiously-tailored, peer led, organ donation workshops in your mosque can use our replication guide to help plan workshops that address both biomedical and religious knowledge regarding living organ donation.

PowerPoint Presentations

Educational Resources

Community members who are interested in replicating the workshops can find samples of our peer education training manual, participant course booklets, as well as other educational documents and videos that might be helpful in organizing the workshops. 

Organ Procurement Process
Biomedical Aspects of Living Organ Donation
Islamic Juridical Views on the Ethics of Organ Donation


Supported by:

  • Mahsin Habib

  • Muhammad Nabeel Hasan

  • Kamran Husain

  • Mohammad Khalid

  • Sabih Uddin

  • Fauzia Lodhib

  • Saulat Pervez

  • Tareq Abedin

  • Mohammad Yahya Alvi

  • Abdul Rahman Wajid

  • Jaseem Anwer

  • Naeem Baig

  • Fawzia Fazily

  • Irfan Galaria

  • Rafiq Rakhangi

  • Latif A. Rasheed

  • Irfan Shaikh

  • Neima Surur

Initiative on Islam and Medicine © 2022 - All Rights Reserved. Designed and Powered By Digaptics

Login To View Video