Using Social Media/ Mainstream Media to Prompt Organ Donation/ Transplantation
Education – Ethics from a Healthcare Science Educational Stance
By Dr Shahid Nazir Muhammad
Specialist Biomedical Scientist and member of the Healthcare Professions Council (HCPC)
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The use of social media (SM) today provides unparalleled opportunities to provide and receive education, access to communication and engagement. SM/ mainstream media (MM) such as television, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations are also being used to prompt education surrounding specific LongTerm Conditions (LTCs). Certainly, use of SM is not limited by constraints of time and geography Aims: Three questions being proposed here: 1) Is there an Islamic stance on using SM/ MM to prompt organ donation/ transplantation education? 2) Can Muslims donate their organs? and 3) Does the Healthcare Scientist have a role providing the public education surrounding organ donation/ transplantation? Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) will be used to provide a LTC example. Review: There is a need for multi-channel approaches so that the issue is a more widely known social norm in primary care, where healthcare scientists will know underlying pathologies. Islamic Stance: If a Muslim decides to donate an organ must do so out of free will without being morally or socially forced and without economic pressures. If the deceased Muslim indicated during life (in a will) that they do not want to donate organs, then no one is authorized to do this on the deceased person’s behalf. The Healthcare Scientist’s Role: More educational campaigns via SM/ MM involving healthcare scientists and Muslim communities are required. Discussion: Bridging gaps in health literacy (HL) is also important. This is where healthcare scientists have an important role, to provide health science transparency where other health professionals are challenged. Clarity of terminology to help increase HL on topics relating to organ donation/ transplantation is now especially required owing to more time being spent online. Conclusion: 1) The Islamic stance on use of social media to prompt organ donation/ education has not been investigated. 2) Muslims can donate their organs, and 3) there is a role for healthcare scientists to provide education, however more research is required to shed light on what is the most effective approach for the healthcare scientist to become proactive.
Keywords: Healthcare, Scientist, Organ Donation, Transplantation, Education, Literacy, Perspective