Community-Engaged Educational Research Workshops on Organ Donation and End-of-Life Care


Organ donation and end-of-life care attitudes are impacted by biomedical and religious knowledge gaps. This project aims 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.

  • The aim of the workshops is to empower the Muslim community to make informed decisions by:

    • Enhancing 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

    • Enhancing 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:

  • Context:
    • Individuals with organ failure: ↑↑↑
    • Waiting list for organ transplant: ↑↑↑
    • Organ donor pool: Relatively Constant
  • Waiting list and donation rates - To view national data reports, click HERE
    •   Currently on waiting list Living donors (2017) Deceased donors (2017)
      White 47,560 4,448 6,790
      African Americans 33,069 526 1,603
      Asians 9,206 272 258

      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)

  • American Muslim attitudes are more negative compared to the general US population which has a > 95% support rate

    • Of 1,011 Arab Americans respondents in Michigan (Padela AI et al, 2011): Of 97 American Muslim respondents in Michigan (Padela AI, Zaganjour H, 2014) : Of 227 Muslim American respondents in Chicago (Hafzalah M et al, 2014):
      organ donation attitudes - Arab - 2011_0.PNG organ donation attitudes - Muslim - 2014_1.PNG organ donation attitudes - change potential - 2014.PNG

Why End-of-Life Care:

  • life sustaining treatment vs quality of life_0.PNG
  • 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
      • Brain death - does it equate to true death according to Islam
This project is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (Grant Number R39OT31104).