Can Sikhs Donate their Organs and Tissues?
THis was the pressing issue addressed by our young adults and parents at a number of workshops held in Melbourne and during our 2012 SYA Summer Camp in Sydney.on the important issue of organ and tissue donation.
In particular, with the help of Professor Jaswant SIngh (University of Patiala, a well-renown expert on the philosophy espoused by the Sikh Gurus in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib) the workshops focussed on the following questions:
- What does our Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji say about donating out organs and tissues?
- What are the cultural and religious perspectives on this issue?
- What choices do Sikhs have for donating their organs during their lives and at the time of departing this world?
Prof Jaswant Singh presented a special analysis on the above issues - bringing to light the unfounded cultural stigma associated with organ donation and explaining how our Guru's would have encouraged such sewa and providing many perspectives from Gurbani. You can view his Powerpoint Presentation here.
Jaspreet Kaur Sidhu, a senior manager with the Department of Health in Victoria also shared the experiences of families who had received organs for sick family members and what it meant to them. She also shared the reasons why people have decided to donate their organs.
SYA also conducted a similar program in Melbourne in August 2011 at its Leadership Development Weekend, where Jaspreet gave a presentation on the same issues.
Jaspreet Sidhu, presenter at the Sydney and Melbourne organ donations workshops
Survey of attitudes
At both the Sydney and Melbourne workshops, SYA undertook surveys of the attendees guaging their attitude towards the donation of organs and tissues before the presentations and what informed this views and also follow up question after the session - assessing how their views had changed in light of the perspectives presented.
The results of these surveys will be shared on our website soon.
SYA kindly acknowledges the sponsorship of these programs at the 2012 Summer Camp in Sydney and the Leadership Development Weekend in Melbourne by the Australian Government Organ and Tissue Authority.
Without their generous donation we would not have been able to undertake these special program.