On Sunday, February 10, 2019, the Islamic Foundation of Toronto (IFT) invited the Kidney Health Education and Research Group (KHERG) to speak at their “Wills in Islam” event. The objective of the event was to raise awareness about kidney disease and kidney transplantation (KT) in the Muslim community and discuss Islamic perspectives on organ donation.discussion on Islamic wills and organ donation by Shaykh Yusuf Badat, the main Imam and Director of Religious Affairs at IFT. He emphasized that organ transplant is a life-saving procedure and that in Islam, saving one life is equivalent to saving all of humanity.
Shaykh Badat’s discussion was followed by a presentation by Dr. Istvan Mucsi, who is a Transplant Nephrologist at the Toronto General Hospital and the Principal Investigator of the KHERG. He discussed the high risk and prevalence of kidney disease in South Asian communities, treatment options, struggles of patients on dialysis, benefits of KT, and the lack of both organ donation and access to KT in the Muslim community.
Dr. Mucsi’s presentation was followed by a short but moving address made by a transplant recipient from the community, who shared the profound impact that KT had on their life and encouraged the audience to consider donating an organ if possible.
After the presentations, Dr. Mucsi and Shaykh Badat addressed the questions of the audience during a Q&A Panel, covering topics such as funeral rites, eligibility to both receive and donate an organ, costs associated with dialysis and KT, and more.
Attendees were also encouraged to visit the KHERG and Kidney Foundation of Canada booths after the event where they could ask additional questions regarding kidney disease and KT, KHERG’s research, and also read through a brochure highlighting the team’s outreach to ethnic minority communities with the aim of understanding, raising awareness of, and ultimately eliminating barriers to KT.
Written by Hadia Rafiqzad
Hadia Rafiqzad is currently pursuing her BSc at the University of Toronto, with a double major in Human Biology and Neuroscience. She is interested in understanding and eliminating the psychosocial and ethnocultural barriers to living donor kidney transplantation.