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OLC230L4.1 2012 Muslim (Urdu) organdonation.nhs.uk 0300 123 23 23 organdonation.nhs.uk To find out more about organ and tissue donation, visit organdonation.nhs.uk OLC230P 2012 Organ donation and religious beliefs A guide to organ donation and Muslim beliefs How do I become a donor? If you decide you would like to become a donor on your death, you need to join the NHS Organ Donor Register to ensure your wishes are recorded. Discuss your decision with those closest to you so that they are aware of your wishes. Adding your name to the register is simple and quick: You can register online at organdonation.nhs.uk Or call 0300 123 23 23

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Page 1: How do I become a donor? Organ donation and religious beliefsnhsbtmediaservices.blob.core.windows.net/organ... · Islam and organ donation Org a nd oti Organ donation is the gift

OLC230L4.1 2012 Muslim (Urdu)

organdonation.nhs.uk

0300 123 23 23

organdonation.nhs.uk

To find out more about organ and tissue donation, visit

organdonation.nhs.ukOLC230P 2012

Organ donationand religiousbeliefs

A guide to organ donationand Muslim beliefs

How do I become a donor?

If you decide you would like to become a donor on your death,you need to join the NHS Organ Donor Register to ensure yourwishes are recorded. Discuss your decision with those closest toyou so that they are aware of your wishes. Adding your name tothe register is simple and quick:

You can register online at

organdonation.nhs.uk

Or call 0300 123 23 23

Page 2: How do I become a donor? Organ donation and religious beliefsnhsbtmediaservices.blob.core.windows.net/organ... · Islam and organ donation Org a nd oti Organ donation is the gift

Islam and organ donationIn Islam there are two schools of thoughtwith regard to organ donation. The humanbody, whether living or dead, enjoys a specialhonour and is inviolable, and fundamentally,Islamic law emphasises the preservation ofhuman life. The general rule that ‘necessitiespermit the prohibited’ (al-darurat tubih al-mahzurat), has been used to support humanorgan donation with regard to saving orsignificantly enhancing a life of anotherprovided that the benefit outweighs thepersonal cost that has to be borne. Thefollowing are some verses which have beenused to support organ donation:

“ Whosoever saves a life, it would be asif he saved the life of all mankind.” Holy Qur’an, chapter 5, vs. 32

“ Whosoever helps another will begranted help from Allah.”Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

“ If you happened to be ill and in needof a transplant, you certainly wouldwish that someone would help you byproviding the needed organ.”Sheikh Dr MA Zaki Badawi, Principal,Muslim College, London

An alternative view clearly states that:

“ The saving of life is not absolute, butsubject to the amount of cost that hasto be borne. Therefore, although theabove quotation enjoins the saving of life this is not without restriction or caveats.

“ According to a similarly large number ofMuslim scholars organ donation is notpermitted. They consider that organdonation compromises the specialhonour accorded to man and this cannotbe allowed whatever the cost. Scholars,such as the Islamic Fiqh Academy ofIndia, allow live donations only.”Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, MuslimCouncil of Britain

Therefore it is very clear that in Islam:

“ Organ donation is a very personal choiceand one should consider seeking theopinion of a scholar of their choosing.”Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, MuslimCouncil of Britain

That said, one of the fundamental purposes ofIslamic law is the preservation of life. Allahgreatly rewards those who save the life of others.

To help in this matter the reader’s attention isdrawn to the following life-saving Fatwa:

In 1995, the UK-based Muslim Law (Shariah)Council resolved that:

• the medical profession is the properauthority to define signs of death

• current medical knowledge considers brainstem death to be a proper definition ofdeath

• the Council accepts brain stem death asconstituting the end of life for the purposeof organ transplantation

• the Council supports organ transplantationas a means of alleviating pain or saving lifeon the basis of the rules of the Shariah

• Muslims may carry donor cards

• the next of kin of a dead person, in theabsence of a donor card or an expressedwish to donate their organs, may givepermission to obtain organs from the bodyto save other people’s lives

• organ donation must be given freely withoutreward, trading in organs is prohibited

• this is supported by Muslim scholars fromsome of the most prestigious academies ofthe Muslim world who call upon Muslimsto donate organs for transplantation. Theseinclude:

- the Islamic Fiqh Academy of theOrganisation of Islamic Conference(representing all Muslim countries)

- the Grand Ulema Council of Saudi Arabia

- the Iranian Religious Authority

- the Al-Azhar Academy of Egypt

Islam and organ donation

Organ donationOrgan donation is the gift of an organ tohelp someone else who needs a transplant.Hundreds of people’s lives are saved orimproved each year by organ transplants.

Organs that can be donated by people whohave died include the heart, lungs, kidneys,liver, pancreas and small bowel. Tissue suchas skin, bone, heart valves and corneas canalso be used to help others.

Donation is an individual choice and viewsdiffer even within the same religious groups.

Why is it important to thinkabout donating organs?With medical advances it is now possible touse transplanted organs and tissues toenhance the life chances of those sufferingfrom a range of terminal conditions such asrenal, liver and heart failure. More peoplethan before now suffer from these conditionsand some ethnic groups seem to be moreaffected than others.

The person in need of an organ today maybe a stranger, but tomorrow that personcould be someone you know and love dearly.So please take the time to think aboutbecoming an organ donor and discuss yourthoughts with loved ones.

ConsentThe consent or permission of those closest tothe potential donor is always sought beforeorgans can be donated. This is why it is soimportant to discuss your wishes with yourloved ones should you decide to become adonor. Many families who agree to organdonation have said that it helps to knowsome good has come from their loss.

When can organ donation take place?Doctors and their colleagues are committedto doing everything possible to save life.Organs are only removed for transplantationonce all attempts to save life have failed andafter death has been certified by doctorswho are entirely independent of thetransplant team.

Most donated organs in the UK come frompeople who die from a severe brain injury,and who are on a ventilator in an IntensiveCare Unit. The brain injury will havedamaged the vital centres in the brain stemwhich are essential to maintain life. Doctorscall this ‘brain stem death’. This is not thesame as being in a coma or ‘persistentvegetative state’. Tests are carried out tostrict guidelines to show conclusively whenthis has happened. When brain stem death ispronounced the patient may still be on aventilator, and have a heart beat whichcontinues to circulate blood around the body.This prevents the organs from losing theoxygen-rich blood supply which is necessaryfor a healthier transplanted outcome.

Organs can also be donated from peoplewhose death has been certified because theirheart has stopped. Certification in these‘non-heart beating’ donors is also by doctorswho are entirely independent of thetransplant team.

Care and respectThe removal of organs and tissues is carriedout with the greatest care and respect. Thefamily can see the body afterwards and staffcan contact a chaplain or local religiousleader if the family wishes.