Group Stages National Donor Sabbath To Urge Increased Organ Donation by Blacks
About 50 predominately black churches on Sunday participated in National Donor Sabbath to encourage blacks to donate their organs, the New York Times reports. Members of the national service group Links spoke at the churches. According to the Links, 27% of the 93,000 people waiting for organ transplants are black and blacks make up 12% of the population and the donor pool. About 35% of those awaiting kidney transplants are black and about one-quarter of the 5,300 people who died last year waiting for a transplant were black, according to the Links. Organ transplants tend to be more successful when the donor and recipient share similar genetics, members of the Links said. In a study conducted this fall by the drug company Roche and the Links, half of blacks said they would want to donate their organs upon their death, though most of them have not discussed the issue with their families. According to the study, the most common reasons cited for not donating organs were distrust of the medical system and fear that organs would be removed before death (Kelley, New York Times, 11/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.