Relationships between Islamic religiosity and attitude toward deceased organ donation among American Muslims: a pilot study

Aasim I Padela, Hatidza Zaganjor
Transplantation 2014 June 27, 97 (12): 1292-9

BACKGROUND: Religion-rooted beliefs and values are often cited as barriers to organ donation among Muslims. Yet how Islamic religiosity relates to organ donation attitude among Muslims is less studied.

METHODS: Using a community based participatory research approach, we recruited adults from mosque communities to self-administer a questionnaire assessing levels of Islamic religiosity, attitude toward deceased organ donation, and sociodemographic descriptors.

RESULTS: Of the 97 respondents, there were nearly equal numbers of men and women. Over a third were Arab American (n=36), and nearly a quarter were either South Asian (n=23) or African American (n=25). Respondents viewing difficulties in life as punishment from God had a decreased odds of believing deceased organ donation to be justified (OR 0.85, P<0.05). Other measures of Islamic religiosity, such as intrinsic religiosity, positive religious coping and one related to following Islamic ethical guidelines, were not associated with organ donation attitude. Arab Muslims were more likely to believe deceased organ donation to be justified than South Asian or African Americans (OR 7.06, P<0.05). Sociodemographic descriptors including age, sex, and country of origin, as well as self-reported health and trust of the American health-care system, were not significantly associated with attitude toward deceased organ donation.

CONCLUSION: Higher levels of intrinsic religiosity or adherence to Islamic ethics do not appear to associate with negative attitudes toward deceased organ donation. Negative religious coping appears, however, to be related to lower rates of believing deceased organ donation to be justified. Future studies with larger samples that incorporate additional measures of religiosity can further clarify relationships between religiosity and organ donation attitude among Muslim communities.

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