Mohamed Awad Tag Eddin, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Health and Prevention Affairs, announced Thursday, 29 September the possibility of future Egyptian ID cards including an optional field for organ donation.
During a phone interview with MBC Masr, reported in Egypt Independent, he explained that organ transplantation in Egypt is a delicate, culturally-sensitive matter often “attached to customs, traditions, and emotions.”
Yet, despite the “moral and legal” ambiguity in post-mortem transplantation, President Al-Sisi has been making moves to encourage the concept, recently giving orders to establish the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) largest organ transplant centre in Cairo’s “integrated medical city.”
Both Dar al-Ifta, Egypt’s leading authority on ambiguous Islamic matters, and the Egyptian Orthodox Church have released statements claiming that it is permissible to donate organs post-mortem, to “relieve the sufferings of sick living human fellows.”
There are several technical terms and conditions stipulated for organ transplantation, on a legal level. These include (a) that the donor is not being pressured into the decision in any capacity, (b) the donor’s age should not exceed 50 years old, (c) the procedure must be undergone within a licensed medical facility, and (e) an accurate medical checkup is made for the donor, to ensure they do not suffer from any medical conditions.
Article 8 of Egyptian law dictates that, in order for organ transplantation to occur between the deceased and a living person, it must be explicitly written in a will.
Illegal organ transplantations will be subjected to, without prejudice, penalties described in Egyptian law; this may include imprisonment, and a fine of no less than EGP 200,000, and no more than EGP 300,000.
“If the act results in death,” reports Egypt Independent, “the penalty shall be life imprisonment.”