BRAIN DEATH AND ORGAN DONATION: A COMPARISON OF THREE INFLUENTIAL GROUPS OF MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS
Organ transplantation is a new treatment for end-stage organ failure. However, the total number of transplants performed in Malaysia in 2012 was only 94. Rates of deceased and living donors in Malaysia for 2012 were chronically low (0.55 and 1.87 per million population, respectively). A sample of 350 respondents in mosques, hospitals, and universities in various places in the Klang Valley, Kelantan and Pahang were collected between October and December 2013 to investigate the level of knowledge of health care professionals (HCPs), religious leaders (RLs), and academics (ACAs) and their stand on two issues on brain death. The result on the first issue (procuring organs from brain dead donors for transplantation) revealed that 52.8%, 23.7%, and 23.4% of HCPs, RLs, and ACAs, respectively, were in support of it; 30.2%, 31.8%, and 45.2% were uncertain about it; and 17%, 44.5%, and 31.5% were against it. On the second issue (terminating the life support machine of a brain dead person), 60.4%, 35.7%, and 25% of HCPs, RLs, and ACAs, respectively, were in support of it; 26.4%, 36.4%, and 38.7% were uncertain about it; and 13.2%, 27.7%, and 36.3% were against it. The lack of knowledge on Islam brain death-related issues should be addressed by educational efforts targeting these three groups of professionals. Special emphasis should be paid to educating RLs as they can channel their knowledge and perception to the other groups and to the Muslim public.
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