A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness on the upcoming change in law around organ donation in England was launched at a meeting of Hindus and Jains in Parliament on Wednesday (10).
Chaired by Lord Jitesh Gadhia, the event was attended by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, who said the campaign was a “brilliant example of the community-based work that is vital to raising awareness and understanding around organ donation.”
Hancock said: “When the change in law comes into force next year, everyone must be provided with the right information and support to make the best possible choice for themselves. It was inspiring to see so many supporters from the Hindu and Jain communities come together for this new campaign, stimulating conversation on this important topic.”
Gadhia noted that the forthcoming change in the law has provided a new impetus to understand how organ donation impacts the British Indian community.
“The legal change allows us to influence social acceptance and gain access to new resources such as the Government’s Community Investment Fund and the Faith Specific Donor Card,” he said.
“It also allows us to push for appropriate investment in shortage areas for example the recruitment of more Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation, ensure that we collect the right data to inform policy and not forget about the vital role which living donation can also play.”
To spread awareness on the law around organ donation, the Jain and Hindu Organ Donation (JHOD) steering group was established last year. It has been working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant to develop videos and leaflets on the change in law from a Hindu and Jain perspective.
Kirit Modi, chair of JHOD steering group said: “We have a unique opportunity over the next nine months to encourage members of the Hindu and Jain communities to make a decision about organ donation based on facts. Many Hindu and Jain communities are keen to get this information to their local community members.
“JHOD is ready to support such activities by offering practical support by using the extensive experience of members of its steering group. Hindus and Jains can make a significant contribution to organ donation and help save lives”.
For more information about the change in the law around organ donation in England and for information on the Jain perspective on organ donation, visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk