Friday is the beginning of National Donor Sabbath, an effort by religious leaders to dispel some myths about organ donation.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White joined with leaders from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, and Sikh congregations, all of which support becoming an organ and tissue donor.
“Here in Illinois, we have 5.4 million Illinoisans that decided to become organ donors. We have 5,000 people on the waiting list as we speak, and each year, about 300 people die because organs have not arrived in a timely manner,” White said.
White says religious beliefs are the most common reason given for not becoming an organ donor, along with the belief in myths such as doctors allowing patients to die to harvest organs.
During National Donor Sabbath, which runs from November 15 to 17th, faith leaders will participate in services and programs to encourage people to register as an organ and tissue donor.