Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - October 9, 2015

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Visit for additional information. Show #1906 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on October 9 (check local listings).

Organ Donation as an Act of Faith – Throughout the U.S. there is a dramatic shortage of people willing to give up one of their body organs to save other people’s lives.  It’s a particular problem for the many patients needing a new kidney.  But, as Lucky Severson reports, many Orthodox Jews have become donors – primarily for Jewish recipients – through a charity called “Renewal.”  Leaders of some other religious groups want members of their congregations to do the same thing, but there remains widespread reluctance.

The Dalai Lama’s Doctor – Dr. Barry Kerzin was a California physician interested in Buddhism who went to Tibet 27 years ago to help train Buddhist doctors in methods of Western medical research and practice, to go along with their meditation.  As Fred de Sam Lazaro reports, the Dalai Lama encouraged Kerzin to combine technology and compassion, 50-50, and he has – for the Dalai Lama himself, for other physicians in Tibet and for doctors back in the U.S., many of whom have warmly welcomed Kerzin’s marriage of technology and love.

Belief & Practice: Laughter Yoga – A growing new spiritual practice combines the breathing techniques of yoga with laughter. Practitioners say it helps them achieve joy and spiritual well-being. We watch a Laughter Yoga session at Washington National Cathedral and speak with leader Diane Cohen, who says Laughter Yoga releases “that inner-essence that we don’t always let out.”