Today is the first day of National Donor Sabbath, observed each year during the second weekend before Thanksgiving Day. The three-day observance encompasses the primary day of worship for major religions practiced in the United States.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is working with church leaders and organ recipients to dispel myths about organ donation, raise awareness about organ donation, and help potential donors understand that it won’t go against their faith.
"They may say that, because of religious reasons, I choose not to participate," he said. "Well, that's unfortunate because all of the religions in the Western World support the organ and tissue donor program."
White also addressed rumors that organ donors would be pulled off life support.
"Sometimes an individual will say, ‘A doctor won't put forth a genuine effort to save me,’” White said, “or they may say that the rich man is going to get his organs before you get yours, or they may sell those organs, but we don't sell organs in this country."
Illinois residents 16 years and older can sign up for the state registry at lifegoeson.com.