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Experts optimistic about new organ transplant law - Daily News Egypt

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Experts optimistic about new organ transplant law

CAIRO: The new organ transplant law, which came into effect this week, aims to curb “commercial practices with organs in Egypt,” Alaa Ghanaam from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) told Daily News Egypt. “During the last decade, Egypt has become a focal point for organ trafficking. This is shameful,” Ghanaam said. Last February, …


CAIRO: The new organ transplant law, which came into effect this week, aims to curb “commercial practices with organs in Egypt,” Alaa Ghanaam from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) told Daily News Egypt.

“During the last decade, Egypt has become a focal point for organ trafficking. This is shameful,” Ghanaam said.

Last February, the Egyptian parliament voted by an overwhelming majority on a law regulating organ transplants. The law is considered a milestone in Egyptian health laws.

“This practice will stop,” Adel Hosny, head of liver transplantation at Kasr Al-Aini Hospital, told Daily News Egypt, referring to organ trafficking.

“Illegal trafficking is a question of supply and demand,” he explained. “The harsh punishments that the new law introduces will raise the risk for people practicing illegal transplantations. The prices will go up and consequently, less people will be able to pay. Subsequently, illegal trafficking will decrease.”

The new law sets out penalties for all parties involved, the donor, the recipient and the doctors, that go up from large fines to 25 years in jail and the revoking of the medical license.

Until now, organ transplantations in Egypt were solely regulated by the professional code of ethics of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate – a non-binding document. The new law will set regulations and restrictions for organ transplantations and herewith provide a legal framework.

The law stipulates that organs can not be sold or bought anymore – but rather they must be donated.

“The big challenge is to completely change the culture of Egyptians towards donating. There is a deeply rooted attitude against voluntarism and donating,” Ghanaam said.

“The NGOs need to do a lot of effort to encourage people to do such an act. If some famous figures like political leaders, artists or religious people would donate, this would have a big influence.”

Donation will be allowed from a member of the family until the third degree. A special clause regulates marriages between Egyptians and foreigners: Donation is accepted after three years of marriage. “We need to be sure that this does not become a sideway for selling organs,” Ghanaam said.

“This law is an important step,” Abdel Rahman Shahin, Ministry of Health spokesperson, told Daily News Egypt. “Organ transplantation is now possible in Egypt from a living donor or a newly dead person to a patient under very strict regulations.

He added that transplant procedures are only allowed in public hospitals and are under supervision of the Medical Syndicate.

“This law has been postponed for 12 years,” Shahin added. “First, it was a religious issue. But when religious scholars agreed on the compatibility of organ transplantation with Islam, the problem shifted towards a purely medical one, the definition of death.”

“The question of death has now been resolved by referring the issue to special committees of doctors to decide on the matter in each case,” Hosny explained.

However, Ghanaam does not expect the law to have an immediate effect. “A lot of awareness-raising has to be done,” he said.CAIRO: The new organ transplant law, which came into effect this week, aims to curb “commercial practices with organs in Egypt,” Alaa Ghanaam from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) told Daily News Egypt.

“During the last decade, Egypt has become a focal point for organ trafficking. This is shameful,” Ghanaam said.

Last February, the Egyptian parliament voted by an overwhelming majority on a law regulating organ transplants. The law is considered a milestone in Egyptian health laws.

“This practice will stop,” Adel Hosny, head of liver transplantation at Kasr Al-Aini Hospital, told Daily News Egypt, referring to organ trafficking.

“Illegal trafficking is a question of supply and demand,” he explained. “The harsh punishments that the new law introduces will raise the risk for people practicing illegal transplantations. The prices will go up and consequently, less people will be able to pay. Subsequently, illegal trafficking will decrease.”

The new law sets out penalties for all parties involved, the donor, the recipient and the doctors, that go up from large fines to 25 years in jail and the revoking of the medical license.

Until now, organ transplantations in Egypt were solely regulated by the professional code of ethics of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate – a non-binding document. The new law will set regulations and restrictions for organ transplantations and herewith provide a legal framework.

The law stipulates that organs can not be sold or bought anymore – but rather they must be donated.

“The big challenge is to completely change the culture of Egyptians towards donating. There is a deeply rooted attitude against voluntarism and donating,” Ghanaam said.

“The NGOs need to do a lot of effort to encourage people to do such an act. If some famous figures like political leaders, artists or religious people would donate, this would have a big influence.”

Donation will be allowed from a member of the family until the third degree. A special clause regulates marriages between Egyptians and foreigners: Donation is accepted after three years of marriage. “We need to be sure that this does not become a sideway for selling organs,” Ghanaam said.

“This law is an important step,” Abdel Rahman Shahin, Ministry of Health spokesperson, told Daily News Egypt. “Organ transplantation is now possible in Egypt from a living donor or a newly dead person to a patient under very strict regulations.

He added that transplant procedures are only allowed in public hospitals and are under supervision of the Medical Syndicate.

“This law has been postponed for 12 years,” Shahin added. “First, it was a religious issue. But when religious scholars agreed on the compatibility of organ transplantation with Islam, the problem shifted towards a purely medical one, the definition of death.”

“The question of death has now been resolved by referring the issue to special committees of doctors to decide on the matter in each case,” Hosny explained.

However, Ghanaam does not expect the law to have an immediate effect. “A lot of awareness-raising has to be done,” he said.

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https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2010/05/05/experts-optimistic-about-new-organ-transplant-law/
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