2013 - ISODP 2013 Congress

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Mini-Oral 1 on Donation

8.16 - The Islamic founding principles on organ transplantation and evolution of the collective scholarly Islamic opinion on the subject

Presenter: Ruhul, Kuddus, Orem, United States
Authors: Ruhul Kuddus

The Islamic founding principles on organ transplantation and evolution of the collective scholarly Islamic opinion on the subject

Ruhul Kuddus1

1Biology, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, United States

Background: Muslims constitute one-fifth of the humanity and a significant fraction of the organ recipients identify themselves as Muslims. A large fraction of Muslim population is devout but unaware of the religious principles on organ donation and transplantation and depends on scholars’ (among Sunnis) and imams’ (among Shias) opinions on the matter.

Methods: The Qur’an, the authentic Traditions and expert collective opinions on the subject were investigated.

Results: The founding principles on transplantation medicine are from the Qur’an (for example, sacredness of life and the human body, and some infractions are allowed to preserve life), the Traditions (such as, sanctity of the corpse, prophet’s allowing of a mutilated male subject transplanting with a prosthetic nose made of noble i.e. forbidden metals, and prophet’s forbidding of the use of wigs; etc.) and maslaha (the principles of public interest deduced by the scholars to protect a person’s religion, life, reason, lineage and property). In general and briefly, Muslim scholars, particularly the scholars of Indian subcontinent, initially attempted to establish that organ donation and transplantation is prohibited. Thereafter, many Arab and Iranian scholars and Muslim scholars (including those from Indian subcontinent) settled in the western hemisphere opined that organ donation and transplantation are permitted but organ donation must be a voluntary act of charity. Of late, the Iranian scholars (and imams) have recognized that the government but not any private parties may acquire organs for an established uniform compensation and equitably distribute the acquired organs.

Conclusions: The current Islamic working principles on transplantation medicine have remained somewhat transitory, emerging if not confusing, and detached from the bulk of the Muslim population. The effect of such a status on transplantation medicine, particularly on organ donation, needed to be investigated.

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