Friday March 13, 2015
“And whosoever bringeth life to one it shall be as though he had brought life to all mankind.” –‐ Qur’an: 5/32 –‐ was on the minds of all those who attended the launch of the Islamic Council of Victoria’s latest initiative –‐ Project Hayat.
More than 50 teary–‐eyed leaders from the Arabic and Turkish speaking communities attended the launch of the organ and tissue donation awareness campaign, held at the Islamic Museum of Australia on Thursday, March 12.
Project Hayat, sponsored by the Organ and Tissue Authority, is a pilot project, which aims to educate Arabic and Turkish Muslim women in Victoria about how people from all walks of life depend on organ and tissue donations regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or language.
ICV General Manager Nail Aykan opened the event with a reminder that one donated life could save up to 10 people on the organ transplant waiting list –‐ which has about 1600 patients at any given time.
OTA Project Hayat Officers Lina Ayoubi and Bahriye Bol–‐Apak reflected on their involvement in the project. “It started off as a job but now it’s a passion. We would love to share our new found and invaluable knowledge with our communities,” they said.
DonateLife Director of Nursing and Operations Kelly Rogerson put things into perspective for guests. “In 2014, 20% of families that did not consent to donation proceeding did so due to religious or cultural reasons. This is very significant when you are only talking about such a small proportion of people who die in the specific circumstances in which organ donation can occur,” she said.
Medical Donation Specialist Dr Gopal Taori further highlighted the need for families to discuss their organ and tissue donation decisions with each other. “In Australia the family of every potential organ donor will be asked to confirm their decision before donation can proceed. Families need to discuss their donation decisions with each other so that they are prepared,” he said.
Transplant recipient Mervette Mourad shared her heroic journey of fighting for her life while her lungs deteriorated, patiently waiting for the gift of life –‐ there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. “When I woke up from my surgery after the double lung transplant, I still remember that first breath of air. I was breathing. Without an oxygen tank. For the first time in years. No tubes. It was an amazing feeling.”
The Grand Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed’s newly released ‘Islamic ruling on organ transplantation’, outlining the permissibility of organ donation in Islam, was announced by his representative, Mohammed El–‐ Shafei.
Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Mr Kerim Birinci also discussed the Turkish Diyanet Ruling on Organ and Tissue Donation and the Turkish tradition of support for organ donation.
Over the next 3 months Project Hayat will be running information sessions for females within the Arabic and Turkish speaking communities. Sessions will include religious instructors and medical experts who will be able to best address inquiries.
To book an information session for your community contact OTA Project Hayat Officers Lina Ayoubi: 0458 599 451 and Bahriye Bol–‐Apak: 0432 572 163
To read the ‘Islamic ruling on organ transplantation’ and the ‘Turkish Diyanet on Organ and Tissue Donation’ or to find out more about organ and tissue donation please visit www.donatelife.gov.au
Follow Project Hayat via www.facebook.com/ICVProjectHayat