In time for Ramadan, Hamad Medical Corp. has launched a 40-day campaign to double the number of registered organ donors in the country to around 40,000 people.
Since Qatar’s Organ Donor Registry was created in 2012, at least 20,000 people have committed to donating their organs in the event of their death, including Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, wife of the former emir and mother of the current emir.
The Qatar Center for Organ Donation and Transplantation (Hiba) said it aims to increase this number by a further 20,000 during this year.
The annual donation campaign, which this year is a collaboration between Hiba and Qatar Charity, involves a public awareness program to help people understand more about how they can pledge to donate their own organs, and the process of organ donation and transplantation in Qatar.
It also aims to dispel some misconceptions about organ donation, including beliefs held by some that it is against Islamic principles.
In a statement, Dr. Yousuf al-Maslamani, head of the Organ Transplant Committee at HMC, said:
“We need more donors to register in Qatar so that nobody has to face losing a loved one while they are waiting for an organ.”
In an online leaflet published by SCH, Al Maslamani said that the transplant team in Qatar has recently struggled to keep up with the demand for organs.
Based on international figures, for a population of 2 million, he estimated that some 150 patients would be added to the renal failure list for new organs each year. He added:
“We need to do 25-30 transplants a year to achieve self-sufficiency. Currently we transplant less than one per month, so we need to double this number.”
A total of 16,606 new registrants were added to the organ donor registry in Qatar last year, a significant increase from the 2,500 people who signed up in 2012, according to Hiba Director Dr. Riaydh Fadhil, who was quoted in the Gulf Times.
These donors hail from 88 different nationalities, reflecting Qatar’s multicultural population, according to the Supreme Council of Health (SCH).
The Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation first opened in November 2011, followed by the launch of the Qatar Organ Donation Center, which is managed by the SCH.
Some patients who cannot find a donor in Qatar travel abroad for treatment. However, Al Maslamani said this practice can be dangerous, as patients often are not given medical notes, which makes it more difficult for doctors in Qatar to follow up on any issues.
According to the SCH, around 60 percent of patients who undergo such transplants abroad experience complications after returning to Qatar. Some 10 percent of those patients go back on dialysis, and other 10 percent die.
Transplants in Qatar
Currently, only liver and kidney transplants are performed in Qatar, with the first kidney transplant occurring in 1986.
However, pancreas and intestinal transplants are expected to be introduced in the future, according to literature published by the SCH.
In some cases, particularly for kidney transplants, donations from living patients can be undertaken, especially if they are a relative.
For example, the first kidney transplant on a child in Qatar took place in January 2013, when 10-year-old Ala’a received a healthy kidney from her uncle Badr.
Otherwise, transplants take place from people who have died, and who the receiver of the organ would typically not know.
To raise the number of organ donors in Qatar, and to address some of the social and cultural issues, Qatar has set up the Doha Donation Accord – an internationally renowned framework of polices and standards around organ donation.
This year’s Ramadan organ donation campaign is part of the accord. Over the coming weeks, teams of multicultural health workers will be manning stalls in public places such as malls, mosques, universities and offices, to tell people about the register and encourage them to sign up.
Each new donor needs to have their register signature witnessed and an electronic copy of the form is also made. Even if someone is a donor in their home country, the lists are not shared abroad, so they must register in Qatar to be a donor here.
In the event of death, the donor’s family is always asked permission for a transplant to be conducted.
Throughout this year’s campaign, there will be a booths at malls throughout Qatar, including City Center, Centerpoint Al Saad, Centerpoint Al Wakra, Landmark Mall, Ezdan Mall, Villagio Mall, Safari Mall, Quality Hypermarket, Al Khor Mall and Souq Waqif.
Around 400 trained staff will be on hand every day from 7:30pm to 11:30pm to answer all questions on organ donation.
More information can also be found on HMC’s website here.
There are 88 nationalities of donors in Qatar which is amazing!! Are the recipients of these organs equally as diverse?
Talib – I was just about to reply to your other comment, but I was too late. GRRRRR….. comment already vanished… SO FRUSTRATING!!!
The comment above Talib’s in this print screen is also now gone…. are we having fun yet?!??
This is the first I’m looking at comments on this story since publishing it yesterday. All of them have appeared for me, and none related to organ donations were in the pending folder or needed any prior approvals. Please understand this isn’t a conspiracy 🙂
I see the comments appear now, but where have they been for the past 20 hours? I think all of us would be curious to know more about why our comments are “vanishing” and some of them magically appear 24 hours later, and at that point the conversation has already died so no point.
Is this flagging system new?
Is is necessary?
Why does the comment show up at first and then vanish? If the flagging system is triggered by specific words, wouldn’t it be hidden straight away?
Do you feel that this system is helping or hurting Doha News mission?
Actually yes, they’re are certain global protocols for organ donations and recipients with an internationally recognized system of prioritizing patients based on a fixed criteria. To implicitly imply qatari get priority, then I’m afraid your wrong. To be a hospital which internationally accredited for organ transplant HMC must adhere to this one system.
Most Qataris go to either Iran or Philipines where they can purchase an organ for a poor individual willing to sale
I wasn’t trying to imply anything, but organ donation in Qatar is, admittedly, something I know nothing about.
I am a registered organ donor in the US, and I know in the US that sometimes the people who benefit from the donation are not the ones who need it the most, but rather the ones with money or influence.
When I read there were 88 nationalities as donors that sincerely made my heart happy, and I am happy to read your comment that recipients are also diverse. Thank you for sharing!!
“Most Qataris got to either Iran or Phillipines where they can purchase an organ from a poor individual”……..nice…
“It also aims to dispel some misconceptions about organ donation,
including beliefs held by some that it is against Islamic principles.” ….
Somebody seems to have decided that it isn’t, even if it’s clear that there are differing opinions. It’s not clear-cut, it’s not a “misconception”…
1- Many scholars don’t agree if the person is dead.
1- Many scholars do, but don’t agree on the definition of dead.
Let’s be fair in 700 organ donation was really viable so I doubt we can look at Islamic texts for guidance now science provides us the possibility of extended life.
Refusing organ donation would be the same as suicide which is definitely haram in many religions.
This print-screen is for you MIMH… I’m getting exhausted of this nonsense…
I have a blog where anything can be posted, been a bit tardy recently but up and running again.
Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy your posts, so I will be reading that this morning 🙂
1- We can look at Islamic texts for guidance to the possibility of a better afterlife.
2- Suicide is killing yourself…
Voluntary refusing life saving treatment is suicide as well.
This is rare, but I have to disagree with you on this one MIMH. Is a cancer patient who refuses to undergo yet another chemo treatment or surgery committing suicide? Or are they making the decision to live their last few days/weeks/months is less pain while acknowledging that their lack-of-action will allow the cancer to overtake them?
Refusing an organ donation due to religious beliefs (or any reason for that matter) is just the individual making the decision to let the naturally occurring life-ending event to occur and not fighting it anymore. I don’t view that as suicide, but rather I view it as “acceptance”.
You analogy is poor. An organ transplant extends your lifespan. Your example of a cancer patient refusing treatment, to live the last few days/weeks/months in less pain is not the same. It would have to be a cancer patient refusing treatment that is 90% sure to remove the cancer.
The reason of declining due to Islamic reasons, or any other religion, is also not based on “acceptance”, but as MIMH says, based on human reasoning from the year 600 AD.
You’re right, probably a poor analogy. I guess my point is that surely you don’t view that as “suicide”? I agree with MIMH and you that basing decisions on reasoning from 600/700 AD is a bit stupid. But if someone does, and they refuse an organ, does that really constitute suicide?? My point is that I do not think that is suicide. They are not intentionally taking their own life, but rather, they are not preventing their natural death.
I agree its not suicide in the way I would think of suicide. But MIMH is arguing that it is technically suicide, by the “holy” books definition of suicide. Which means you go to hell (Christian religion). Which I also find weird, as god decreed his own son to death, but that’s a different story.
It’s a very fine line I think and open to philosophical discussion. Is someone on hunger strike committing suicide? I would think so as they are deliberately ending their life to make a point. Do JW’s by refusing blood transfusions commit suicide? Again I think yes as normally that will save you life.
It is a very debatable point I’ll give you that.
It is very debatable. I find myself even going back and forth!
On the “spectrum” of suicide or not suicide, I do view a hunger strike as more on the “suicide” end of the scale because if they were proceeding normally they would not die, but their decision did lead to their death.
On the other hand, I view refusing an organ donation or blood transfusion on the other side of the spectrum as “non-suicide”. Although the decision did lead to their death, that death occurred naturally by whatever ailment had inflicted them.
You are right though, very debatable, but interesting to discuss and think about! I’m glad DN and “diqus” are allowing us to debate about it without comments disappearing!!
I disagree with you Expat Girl especially if the patient is heavy smoker who historical is the cause of his/her misfortune. They are in fact intentionally taking their own life. About 3 years ago, i saw a very heavy pregnant woman who smoke like no tomorrow in a very sunny weather condition. suicidal two 2 persons at d same time on the long run, to her and unborn baby. what do u have to say to this?
What do I have to say about that? Well, I say that is terrible and in my opinion the mother should be charged with child endangerment. Not sure what this has to do with accepting or rejecting an organ donation… but in any case that is a very sad story.
I agree with you on this “acceptance” point but it all depend on the situation percentage wise. if is 80% sure to survive and probably live for another 10yrs – 20yrs, why refuse?also, note that its is suicide if you don’t have good pattern of eating e.g over eating sugared stuff, smoking etc u have risk of developing chronic diseases and die. so, indirectly, u kill yourself. Also, i notice even after medical diagnose of a chronic disease many people continue these bad habits which in my candid opinion is suicidal and haram.
First of all, let me clarify that I personally DO support organ donations, so I agree with your first point of “why refuse?” But I also believe it is an individual’s personal choice whether they want to do that or not. And while I don’t understand why someone would refuse, that is their choice and none of my business to judge!
On your second point, I think you are confusing stupidity and/or negligence with suicide. When an overweight man grabs a sugary donut, he is not biting into it thinking “I hope this is the one that kills me”. Suicide is about INTENT; the DESIRED outcome is ones death.
Based on your premise, all deaths would be suicides because all people could make decisions which are more heathy or more safe for themselves.
The point is, when religion is involved, it is often not the individuals choice. Intolerable family and societal pressure is also brought to bear.
I agree with your point 100%. What you say is unfortunate, but true.
No it’s not …. You can sign a DNR … Do not resasatate … Meaning if your pulse goes flat it stay flat
sir, its is also suicide if you don’t have good pattern of eating e.g over eating sugared stuff, smoking etc u have risk of developing chronic diseases and died. so, indirectly, u kill yourself which in my opinion is haram. Also, i notice even after medical diagnose of a chronic disease many people continue these bad habits which in my candid opinion is suicidal and haram.
Just for my understanding, for the scholars who believe organ donation is against Islamic principles, would you mind telling me which Islamic principles those scholars believe it is violating? Does it have something to do with if a person is dead, but an organ still has the ability to function, then the organ is considered as “alive” so therefore another person can’t take advantage of it or benefit from it?
Sorry for asking what probably sounds like a dumb question, I am just curious to understand.
No problem 😉
The main ideas against organ donation say:
– One does not own his body, it’s a gift from god that you should preserve, and can’t give it to anybody.
– The relatives do not inherit the body, and can’t choose to do anything with it.
– We need to respect the body of the dead, changing anything is considered “multilation” of the body.
Another idea many have is that “saving a life” is not that important, this life is only temporary… the next one is what matters.
Thank you osamaalassiry, I appreciate you taking the time to educate me!!
While I personally don’t agree with those ideas against donation, I certainly do understand where they are coming from, and I agree their philosophy that the body is a gift from god.
I grew up in a very strong Christian home, so I was raised to believe that when god determines it is time for you to leave this earth, then it is time, and there is nothing you can do about it. But the more scientific / humanitarian side of me thinks, well if a life can be saved by a donation, then let’s do it!! For the most part Christians support organ donations. But for other subjects, there are many times that my religious upbringing conflicts with what I view is practical, modern, and acceptable. But that’s another story!
Thank you again for replying 🙂
“Another idea many have is that “saving a life” is not that important, this life is only temporary… the next one is what matters”
Except if its not true. Then you have cost someone their only chance at life, based on some ancient human texts.
@disqus_l5hcoL3hia:disqus If you believe in it, then it’s true to you, no “if it’s not true”.
Believing in something does not make it true. My son believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
And those beliefs become dangerous when a person becomes willing to argue for or put another persons life at risk by refusing or condemning modern medical treatment
Thanks @disqus_l5hcoL3hia:disqus …. Everbody who believes in something he doesn’t belive in should STOP right now…
No people should stop believing in things that hurt other people. Like imam’s telling people they shouldn’t have a transplant, or the catholic church telling people they shouldn’t use condoms. Based on there own twisted logic.
You are free to think whatever YOU want to think, it’s usually not a good idea to dictate what you think other people should think.
I’m with you on that!!
I’m not dictating how anyone should think. Perhaps you should “think” then you would realise that it is religion dictating how people should think, such as not getting a transplant to save their life, as there is a “debate” on whether god approves or not.
If you wish to condemn young children to death for want of a new organ, because of a “debate” over some medieval texts, that is entirely your choice. I prefer to think and not have the choice dictated to me. I’ve made my point, no need to carry on with this.
I’ve made my point 10 comments ago, you keep answering.
I’m not trying to be picky here, but doesn’t that leave kidney donations (in which you donate 1, keep the other, and continue to live) in a bit of a grey area? Do you have a right to give away one of your kidney’s to keep a diabetic child alive?
And what about blood donations – is that a bit murky too? Do you ‘own’ your blood or is it part of your body, and therefore a gift from God?
1- some scholars are against any kind of donations.
2- All scholars are ok with blood donations, since “blood regenerates in the body of the donor”
(I’m not stating my opinions here, just what some of the islamic scholars have said, every person/muslim has the choice to do whatever they want)
I have before only heard the 1st argument, and I find it to be both weak, and a personal opinion rather than having any actual basis in things that are forbidden in the Quran or hadith. Everything we own was given to us by God; that includes our bodies, health, time, money, etc. We each have a responsibility to make use of all that is given to us to better our lives and the lives of others. We are only forbidden to use the gifts of God’s in any manner that he has forbade us to do. Unless someone can show clear evidence form the Quran or hadith, this argument is invalid.
As for respecting the body; again taking internal organs from the body by professionals, for the purpose of saving some else’s life, does not compare in anyway to mutilation. The first does not seek in anyway to disrespect the body of the deceased, while the latter does. Let’s also keep in mind that Muslims don’t in anyway try to preserve the body from naturally decomposing; the body is buried as soon as possible.
Thank you for sharing that. Although I am not Muslim, I completely agree with the principles you have shared.
Also, osamaalassiry was simply stating the perspective of those scholars who do oppose organ donation since I asked him. I don’t think he ever stated whether that is or is not his personal view. So don’t view that as his personal argument unless he says it is. He was just being kind and educating me!!
“Another idea many have is that “saving a life” is not that important, this life is only temporary… the next one is what matters”
“And whoever saves one (life) – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” Surat Al-Mā’idah 32
Doha news has started self-censoring , this was one point which made these guys stay distinct, . But monkeys when they join the flock they express their natural trait.
Maybe to encourage the large resident population to donate, if they donate a organ either while alive or after death to a Qatari citizen then their immediate family members are granted Qatari citizenship.
My comment disappeared again! Was suggesting giving donors and their immediate family Qatari citizenship if they help a Qatari so controversial!