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Grand Mufti of Kazakhstan supports organ donation after death

16 january 2014, 17:48
0
 ©Reuters
©Reuters
The Grand Mufti supports organ donation in Kazakhstan, Acting Deputy Director of the Syzganov National Research Center of Surgery Yerbol Shakhiev said at a press conference in Almaty, Tengrinews reports.

According to Shakhiev, the level of development of transplantation is a indicator of the overall level of healthcare in Kazakhstan. Turkish surgeons from the Adzibadem Clinic were among the surgeons who came to Kazakhstan to teach the local surgeons. What makes this cooperation so important is that Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, like Kazakhstan, but organ donation after death is much more common in Turkey.

Statistically, there are around 5000 people in Kazakhstan who are in need for organ transplantation. 3000 people require kidney transplantation, 1000 needs liver transplantation and 800 people have a need for “a new” heart.

Doctors from the Syzganov Center believe that Kazakhstan lacks donors largely because quite few translation surgeries are made. “Lack of donors is a big problem in our country, that is why when it comes to liver or kidney, in most cases, we made transplantations from the living relatives. It means that a relative of the patient becomes a volunteer donor,” said Dr. Daniyar Toksanbayev. His colleague, Dr. Nikolai Ten pointed out that Spain had the highest level of organ donations with 40 donors per one million.

“If we could reach such a level, we would have 500 volunteers. One donor can save 5 or even 6 lives" after death, said Dr. Ten. According to the doctors, all in all there were only three cases of organ donation after death in Kazakhstan; one is Almaty and two in Astana. Dr. Shakhiev says that many Kazakhstanis refuse to donate organs after death and many of them refuse because of their religious views. However, the doctors believes that donation after death is not connected to any religion.

The major exceptions are three religions that ban organ donation after death to help the sick. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists and Shintoists. For Jehovah’s Witnesses the major issue in organ donation is the movement of blood from one person to another. In this case they require organs to be drained of blood. Christian Scientists promote philosophical radicalism and believe in healing through prayers and mediation. The Shinto faith considers a dead body to be impure and that is why they oppose organ transplantation. Organ donation after death is very rare in Japan.

“Basically, every religion is focused in making sure the humanity lives on. We had a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Kazakhstan Yerzhan khadzhi Malgazhiuli who wholeheartedly agrees that organ donation after death has to be developed in Kazakhstan. Sometimes we face a blunt and aggressive refusal that does not have any solid ground. In most refusal cases, people refer to religion, but it is out of ignorance,” said Dr. Shaikhiev. He added that in European practice, a person who refuses organ donation is later denied transplantation.

“We do not want to resort to 'shock therapy' methods. That is why we strive to gradually change people’s perceptions. All mosques in Kazakhstan will be explaining to people that Allah is not against organ donation and it is essential to help other people,” said Dr. Shaikhiev.

He noted that any wild guesses about sales of donated organs were groundless. “Such fears are unreasonable. We received such requests, but we have denied the all, because it its illegal. The deed should be volunteer and selfless. Organ donation in Kazakhstan mustn’t be connected to sales,” said the Doctor.

The Islamic law emphasizes the importance of preservation of human life. “The general rule that 'necessities permit the prohibited' (al-darurat tubih al-mahzurat), has been used to support human organ donation with regards to saving or significantly enhancing a life of another providing that the benefit outweighs the personal cost that has to be borne,” says the Islam and Organ Donation guide. In accordance with Islamic views, organ donation should be free of charge and completely voluntary.

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