Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Lutheran leaders join Trillium Gift
of Life Network in urging registration of consent
TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - At an interfaith breakfast to mark the United
Nation's World Interfaith Harmony Week today, faith leaders, working
with Trillium Gift of Life Network, encouraged their respective
communities to register their consent to donate organs and tissues. The
breakfast also marked the official launch of the newest material
prepared by Trillium Gift of Life Network to address myths and
misconceptions associated with becoming a registered organ and tissue
donor within the Hindu faith community.
Since the 2007 launch of the provincial Organ Donation Strategy,
Trillium Gift of Life Network has sought the input of local faith
leaders to find ways to reach out and address questions that Ontarians
may have about the impact of religious beliefs on their decision to
register their consent as organ and tissue donors. Previous work has
addressed the needs of those of the Jewish, Catholic and Muslim faiths
in the Greater Toronto Area. This past year has seen efforts expand
with these groups across the province and to the nearly 220,000 Hindus
in the province.
"I hope every police officer who came to pay his or her respect to Sgt.
Ryan Russell last week in Toronto will follow his example and do the
same meaningful act that he did. Because Sgt. Russell had registered
his consent to donate, it made his wife's decision so much simpler
since she knew that's what he wanted. He wanted to help others even in
Reverend Walter Kelly, Chaplain for the Toronto Police Service
"Hindus live with the fundamental understanding that to give is divine.
What better way to give than of your own organs, so another can live.
We also know that Lord Krishna says: Compassion to your fellow man is one of greatest ways of Worship, and that's why we must give our organs. This is my humble request to
all Hindus. When leaving this earth, we continue to live, because we
have made someone wholesome."
Dr. Budhendranauth Dooby, Vishnu Mandir
"Our challenge, as religious leaders, is not merely to affirm that organ
donation is ok, or nice. It is to impress upon our communities that
organ donation is a supreme obligation, a fundamental responsibility.
In the Jewish tradition, saving lives is the highest fulfillment. Organ
donation gives us this great opportunity."
Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Congregation Machzikei Hadas and Board Chair, Trillium Gift of Life
"Faith leaders stand together today to support one cause, encouraging
more Ontarians to register consent for organ and tissue donation at a
time when approximately 1,500 people are waiting for organs and
thousands more are waiting for tissue. No one group, no one community
is responsible for donation. To make the system work, faith leaders
know that it must be a shared endeavour of all and that's why they are
Frank Markel, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network
"As we love to receive, we should love to give. As we expect others to
do something for us, we should give others what they expect from us.
Religion is for life, not against it. Religion cannot and should not
contradict common sense. It should not oppose honest and equal
opportunity, which is driven by the urge of saving lives every day."
Imam Dr. Hamid Slimi, President, Faith of Life Network
"Of all the commands given to us in Jewish tradition, the obligation to
protect and preserve human life is among its greatest. Our efforts to
promote organ donation is one of the echoes heard from this ancient
commandment; that human life is precious and we are charged to do all
in our power to cure those who are ill. The donation of organs, blood
and tissues is something each and every person can do to give the "gift
of life" to another."
Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich, Beth Sholom Synagogue
"It is important to remember that the Catholic Church views legitimate
organ donation as an act of charity, a noble and selfless act that
bears witness to our "neighbour," who is any person in society in need
of an organ or tissue transplant."
Dr. Moira McQueen, Director, Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute
You can register your consent to donate your organs and tissues by
visiting any ServiceOntario centre or by mailing in a Gift of Life
Consent Form available at www.giftoflife.on.ca.
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available
at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
SOURCE Trillium Gift of Life Network
For further information:
Maryse Bélanger, Media Relations Advisor, Trillium Gift of Life Network