Hey everyone, this post is courtesy of Ron Gold:
Reincarnation in one of those beliefs that seems quaint, but not dangerous. After all, what harm is there in a person thinking they could come back in another life as a butterfly or a mollusk? Well, believing in reincarnation is actually causing people to die, at least in India, where people are afraid to donate organs for religious reasons:
Hindus believe a person’s spirit is eternal, and the body is just a shell. But some say that if your organs are removed, you may be reincarnated with them missing, said Dr. Aarti Vij, part of the organ retrieval department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
“It can be demoralizing,” Vij admitted. “Hinduism is so much about karma and giving without expectations, but some people just hold onto these beliefs.”
Old-fashioned bigotry is also part of the problem:
Sometimes, doctors also turn away potential donors because some families demand organs go to recipients of the same religion.
“We have to tell them no and ask them to do it for the goodness of the cause,” said Sunil Shroff, a transplant surgeon in Chennai.
Even with 1.1 billion people–and an astoundingly high average of 288 traffic fatalities a day–India only found 80 legal organ donors last year. India is an emerging world power, and is quickly catching up to developed countries economically and technologically. But to catch up medically, they will need to modernize some of their oldest beliefs.