Saturday, January 24, 2009


"...the current (organ donation) law stipulates that both the donor and the recipient be “alive,” limiting the organs that can be donated only to kidney and portions of the liver. The current law also dictates that both patients be Egyptian"

By Yasmine Saleh Daily News - Egypt

CAIRO: The Ministry of Health reported a significant decline in illegal organ transplants since it launched a campaign against the practice in hospitals nationwide, said a ministry official.

Dr Abdel Rahman Shahin, spokesperson for the ministry, told Daily News Egypt that in 2006, a special department was assigned to monitor private hospitals and medical centers in Egypt, where most illegal organ transplants are conducted and a thriving business of organ trading exists.

The ministry has since discovered several violations in well-known private hospitals in the country, he said.

According to Shahin, the current law stipulates that both the donor and the recipient be “alive,” limiting the organs that can be donated only to kidney and portions of the liver.

The current law also dictates that both patients be Egyptian.

According to Shahin, findings from the ministry’s investigation were sent to the public prosecution office.

“Many physicians are under investigation — one of whom received a three-year jail sentence for conducting an illegal organ transplant,” Shahin added.

The increase of such illegal procedures in 2008 — after a slight decline in 2007 — was a stark reminder that the current law needed to be amended, he said.

The Ministry of Health and the Doctors’ Syndicated tabled a draft law to the People’s Assembly, which is currently discussing the proposed amendments.

While the draft law will not directly prohibit organ donation between Muslims and Copts, Shahin said, it will give priority to family members, de facto limiting the occurance of inter-faith transplants.

The proposed law will also create a “waiting list” system, where patients are listed according to the severity of their cases.

One of the amendments proposed in the draft law is to allow non-living donors.

Delaying the PA’s decision on the draft law was the debate around the Sharia definition of death.

“Both the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayed Tantawy and the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa agreed that organs from non-living donors are permissible,” Shahin said.

Both agreed that when the brain stops functioning, the patient is considered dead.

On the other hand, the Islamic Research Center (affiliated with Al-Azhar institution) defined death as the complete deportation of life from the human body that is preceded by the failure of all organs.

However, to eliminate all doubt, the Ministry of Health suggested forming an independent committee comprised of doctors, public figures and a judge, to confirm the death of the donor as well as list patients according to their condition.

Under the new law, all organ transplants will be conducted in public hospitals so the ministry can monitor the procedure.

The new law will penalize doctors who perform illegal organ transplants, who will be subject to a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail. “The current law’s maximum penalty was a three-year jail sentence,” Shahin said.

Moreover, the hospitals or medical centers allowing illegal operations may be fined up to LE 1 million and can be shut down, he added.

While the law is being discussed in the PA, Shahin said, the minister of health issued a new decision to monitor organ transplants, making it obligatory for the donor and recipient to get approval from the Ministry of Health and the Doctors’ Syndicate.

The PA is expected to approve the draft law next April, Shahin said.

Last November, as part of its crackdown on the illegal business of organ trading, the Ministry of Health made spot checks on hospitals around Egypt.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network
For other Canadian provinces click here

In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register

In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register

Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

1 comment:

The Donor Project inc. said...

By Steve Moi
The perennial, deadly reality that is the national transplant waiting list exists despite the good intentions of Americans. After all, various estimates put the number of people who have signaled their intent to be an organ donor at between one fourth and one half of all adults—that’s between 50 and 100 million people.
So what’s the problem? If more than 50 million people have signed on to be donors, shouldn’t that be sufficient to eliminate the national waiting list of 100,000 plus? Why is it that about 18 people are still dying every day for want of an organ? What can be done to stop those deaths?
These are the questions I set out to answer in 2004 right after being told that my kidneys were shutting down. Four hours of dialysis three days a week provides a lot of time for research. After only 18 months on the transplant list, I received a new kidney on Aug. 3, 2004. My wait was not as long as some—usually it’s three to five years—but it was long enough for me to take a hard look at the mismatch between the good intentions of donors and the reality of the national transplant waiting list.
What I found is that no one really knows who and where all the donors are. True, there is a patchwork of data bases kept mainly by state motor vehicle departments and regional donor organizations, but a truly national data base accessible to first responders, transplant centers and the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) does not exist.
So I decided to apply my 35 years of advertising and marketing experience to create just such a list and founded The Donor Project, a non-profit organization, to do it. If you think about it as a marketing problem it’s quite simple. We need to conduct a marketing campaign to sign up millions of people which, actuarially speaking, will yield enough deceased donors annually, to eliminate the current national transplant waiting list.
It is not a lot of people when you think in marketing terms. For instances a particularly graphic video game sold over six millions copies in the week following its introduction last May. The company that registered those sales--some $500 million worth--did it because they had a product people wanted, and they used tried and true marketing and advertising strategies that had people waiting in line to buy it.
That’s exactly what The Donor Project will do. We know we have a willing audience—those 50 or 100 million people who have already indicated their intention to be donors. We just need to create a national marketing campaign using all the bells and whistles usually employed by the likes of Coke, Pepsi, Nike and Adidas to get them on our list.
Our theme: “LEAVE IT. Be an organ donor.”
Highlighting the campaign will be a drive to sign-up potential donors on National Donor Sabbath, which is observed every year in early November. That’s when the 225,000 churches and synagogues across the nation focus on the importance of organ donation. We’ve developed a system to register potential donors at their place of worship by scanning their drivers license or photo ID—much like is done for age verification in bars—and securing a signed consent form. The information can then be securely downloaded from the scanners and organized into a database that will be accessible to the critical links in the transplant chain—first responders, automobile communication systems like On-Star, transplant centers and UNOS. If just a small percentage of the people who regularly attend church sign-up, we will have met our goal.
Just imagine the impact of such a centralized data base on healthcare.
The national transplant waiting list should be eliminated within the first few years of the promotion.
Transplant Center physicians will be able to estimate by region the number of organs that will be available, allowing them to more accurately predict when a transplant patient could receive a donated organ—a timeline that will be measured in weeks, not years.
Valuable time will be saved when first responders can access the database at the scene of an accident and notify the transplant center that they may have a donor.
People who have been denied a spot on the waiting list due to age or other medical conditions will now have the opportunity for a life-saving transplant.
Excess organs will be available for research needs.
Medicare could save much of the $17.8 billion it currently spends on dialysis.
And there will no longer be 18 people a day dying as they wait for an organ.
The groundwork has been laid over the past four years and the marketing team has been assembled. The next step is fundraising.
The Donor Project’s initial capital needs are for $600,000 to fund the development of the marketing communications program including a web site, broadcast, print and on-line advertising, direct marketing and public relations.
Then we’ll need $20 million a year to execute the on-going marketing campaign, the majority of which we hope to raise from the drug companies that provide anti-rejection drugs. If we’re successful, the market for anti-rejection drugs will double from $900 million to $1.8 billion. Preliminary meetings with several pharmaceutical companies have been promising.
The Donor Project will prevent the deaths of nearly 7,000 people and extend the lives of more than 50,000 people every year. And, unlike other campaigns that raise money to find a cure, The Donor Project, by marrying willing donors with transplant patients, will instead be the cure. The Donor Project 2214 Windsor Dr. Richardson Tx. 75082