IS THERE ALTRUISM OR RELIGIOSITY IN BLOOD DONATION

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The distinction between religiosity and spirituality is drawing more and more attention from academics as people increasingly identify as spiritual but not religious. Most academics will define spirituality as a personal relationship with God, while religiosity is defined as practicing and following the rules of a religion or institution. Spirituality can exist in the absence of practicing religion. But in Pakistan the two are interwoven and there is rarely one without the other. Spirituality in Pakistan is about practicing and living your religion, while in the Western countries it is often perceived as an emotional, personal experience. The difference in the perception is clear, as one insists on the living and one insists on the emotion.
The relationship between religiosity and adherence or intention to donate blood has been recently looked with lot of interest in the philosophical forums. People have apprehension as blood donors, mainly to help other people. There are misconceptions regarding blood donation and this needs education and motivation through dissemination of information regarding blood donation particularly on electronic and print media. Evidence shows that being informed about blood transfusion and its life-saving benefits through either the education system or the experience made people more likely to intend to donate blood.
In Pakistan blood donation has not been remunerated in any way. The implementation of an altruistic donation model can bring the need for strategies to encourage the population to donate blood voluntarily and regularly. While about five percent of people in the United States donate blood each year, less than two percent of the Pakistani population do it regularly. Information about opinions, motivation and feelings of blood donors is important for the organization and administration of blood centres as well as to establish a profile of these individuals. This information can serve as a basis for the elaboration of projects that aim to educate, mobilize, attract and retain regular voluntary donors. The attitude of young people toward blood donation can be of great importance as they are potentially ‘opinion leaders’ on social and public health topics, considering that their future activities will be focused on education and healthcare.
Blood donors never know who they are helping. They are giving their blood but they have no idea about the patient and who gets their blood. Some people say this is their own responsibility and this was their own decision. While most people say this is a kind of personal responsibility but the way they perceive them as responsible is a little different. They think as human beings we should help others, that living in a society this is important not just for them as an individual. It seems like an altruistic behaviour but we cannot easily say all blood donations are altruistic.
Many analysts prescribe into the idea of genuine altruism. And find that people mostly gave blood for selfless reasons, whether it is tied to spirituality or the donor’s empathy for others. Others argue that religious motivation is interesting because it has to come from some sense of something larger than yourself  and it certainly holds true for people who have religious beliefs, but then it  is integral to major religions. So whether blood donations are motivated by religious or spiritual motivations remains unclear because people may have only selfless reasons for their giving. A lot of people could not give money, so what they gave instead is something that is an abundant resource to them. While academics may find such pure motivations compelling, yet for the most part people give blood out of the goodness of their heart. Whenever there is any kind of tragedy or terrible accident, people respond. They help out in the only way they can.
Analysis on the motivation and recruitment of blood donors shows that altruism or humanitarianism, sense of solidarity or duty, social pressure, replacement and reward, and possible personal or family benefits are the main reasons for donation. Although altruism is the main motivator for blood donation many of the blood donors could be motivated for reasons that are not exclusively altruistic, such as seeking tests. While many analysts have postulated that religiosity correlates strongly with participating in charitable actions, overall altruism is related to charity giving, but not to blood donation behaviour. Thus, it is possible that the various aspects of altruism link differently to specific behaviours, and consequently, attitudinal factors toward blood donation involve a complex set of values, satisfaction with services, trust, fear and feelings. Psychiatrists are convinced that attitudes and acts of altruism are indeed linked to religiosity. If people with religious ties contribute more actively to charitable practices, it is expected that there is some relationship between religiosity and attitudes concerning blood donation.
The divide between spirituality and religiosity remains a central focus of contemporary religious psychology, as some people are not practising Islam as religion, yet maintain some set of spiritual beliefs. Altruism and religion may be associated to blood donation in some ways but it does appear that the basic humane attitude is always required to drive the goodness within the blood donor who has religious tendencies in his beliefs.

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