Alive or dead — Residents ready to donate organs

Alive or dead — Residents ready to donate organs

68% of 500 respondents who took part in a national survey said that they would donate their organs


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Mon 23 May 2016, 3:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 May 2016, 9:30 AM

People in the UAE are ready to donate their organs - alive or dead, according to a National Survey on Organ Donation and transplantation.
Sixty eight (68) per cent of the 500 respondents who took part in the survey said that they would donate their organs if needed.

What the UAE law says on organ transplant
 > Any person above 21 may express the will to donate organs in the presence of two witnesses with full legal capacity
 > A thorough physical examination has to be done to ensure that the donor is physically fit
 > Any living person may also express her or his will to donate organs after death in writing
 > In absence of such an explicit consent, the written consent of the next of kin up to the second degree must be obtained
 > Donor identity may not be disclosed to the recipient unless necessary
 > Any form of organ trafficking is illegal under the law and physicians are barred from performing an organ transfer operation as soon as they become aware of a commercial exchange
 > At present, the Abu Dhabi National Transplant Centre at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City) is the only institution where transplants can be performed
 >Any transgressions of the law is punishable with imprisonment and a fine of up to Dh30,000 maximum.
 > In May 2013, the first donated organ from a deceased person was successfully transplanted to a young woman with a damaged kidney.
 (Courtesy Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law)
Another 65 per cent said that they would willing give consent to donate the organs of their loved ones if they have been declared brain dead, said Dr Farhad Janhani, a researcher who conducted the study for Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) last year.
The study included both expatriates and Emiratis.
Speaking to Khaleej Times Dr Farhad said that the country was ready to move forward and allow cadaver transplants.
Dr Ali Al Obaidli, Chairman of the UAE National Transplant Committee said the UAE has a strong donation culture.
"The UAE has the potential to occupy a prominent place in the field of organ transplantation since it has improved healthcare services and a strong organ donation culture," he said.
The forum, held in Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), highlighted the latest developments in Organ Transplantation in the GCC and discussed legislations and policies for organ donation, including deceased donation, to drive organ transplantation in the UAE.
"If one day we were to move forward and have the facilities to do cadaver transplant, people would even be able to donate multi-organs such as the kidney, liver and pancreas," said Dr Janhani.
The current Organ Transplant Law in the UAE allows transplants only from living donors who preferably are close relatives of the patient.
Legislation that allows explants from the dead has been authorised by a ministerial decree but has not been implemented yet.
The current healthcare facilities also only support kidney transplants.
Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, Education Sector, DHCC said: "This forum that discusses legislations and exchanges ideas will help us reduce the gap between the demand and supply of human organs for transplantation."

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