CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) has decided to postpone the discussion on cadaveric organ transplants until the next parliamentary session, beginning in November.
Member of Parliament and Head of the Health Committee Hamdy El-Sayed told The Daily Star Egypt that the PA was “busy with other political laws that made [us] postpone the organ transplant discussion.
Parliamentarians begin their annual leave next week. El-Sayed added that in any case, the PA had not yet finished discussing the issue.
Dr. Adel Hosny, professor of liver surgery and head of the Liver Transplant Department at Cairo University says he is not surprised by the decision. “They are afraid to take a decision, he says, based on the ongoing debate and existing opposition to cadaveric transplants.
Opposition comes mainly from a small group of Egyptian doctors who do not believe in brain-death. Other issues raised have been the potential for social injustice as well as religious concerns.
The issue of cadaveric organ transplants, specifically liver and kidney transplants, as well as cornea transplants, has been debated by lawmakers for 10 years. One month ago, the issue seemed to near a final resolution when the PA announced their urgent desire to pass the law after Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa supported the existing fatwa approving such transplants.
Following the revived discussion, experts and physicians told The Daily Star Egypt that they were concerned about Egypt’s readiness and available infrastructure, though all had indicated a long-standing desire for the procedure to finally be legalized.
Other Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, and Morocco, have been performing cadaveric transplants for years.