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Organ donation laws on way to help transplant patients.

BAHRAIN must update its laws regarding organs transplant from brain-dead people, said a senior health official.

Supreme Council for Health chairman Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla also said his office would soon take steps to address the legal restrictions which currently do not support harvesting of organs from a brain-dead person.

"In Bahrain we have problems regarding reluctance to donate organs and recognising brain death," he told the GDN.

"Bahrain laws do not allow the harvesting of organs from a brain-dead person."

He was speaking on the sidelines of a forum on Organ Donations and Regulations at the Gulf Hotel organised by the Bahrain Shefaa (donor) Society under the umbrella of Yousif and Ayesha Almoayyed Charity.

The event organised jointly by Saudi Foundation for Promoting Organ Donation (Eithar) and Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation discussed the need to encourage organs donation.

Speakers at the forum, moderated by Bahrain Shefaa Society president Dr Hala Jamal, included Monam Almoayyed, Health Ministry consultant nephrologist Dr Sumayya Al Ghareeb and Eithar chairman Mohammed Al Dabaal.

"We appreciate the Bahrain Shefaa Society's efforts in spreading awareness about organs donation," said Dr Shaikh Mohammed.

"We are on the way to helping Bahrain establish legislation that will support organs harvesting brain-dead people.

"We will also hold discussions with the members of the society and similar others in the region to soon have them endorsed."

Dr Jamal said that it was very difficult to convince relatives of brain-dead people to donate organs.

"Some parents or families of the brain-dead person do not agree to donate the organs," she said.

"They cite various reasons but our aim is to make them understand that organ donation is something noble.

"Such donations could help a person who is suffering or perhaps extend the life of another.

"This is acknowledged all over the world and in Saudi Arabia it is regulated by law.

"A similar system in Bahrain is highly desirable.

"We have many contracts in place, which at times work, but there is no legal endorsement and this needs to be addressed.

"This will make it formal and back our efforts of spreading awareness on organs donation."

She said a regulation will help in situations where there is a difference of opinion.

"The major objection comes from the religious point of view, sectarian differences and also from the society's misconceptions about organ donations.

"We have situations where a family objects to a person's pledge to donate his organs, mainly due to sentiments.

"We also have situations where people may differ over religious views.

"All these situations can be officially dealt with, if we have a law that regulates the harvesting of organs from brain-dead people."

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:May 10, 2017
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