x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Organ transplants to be performed in the UAE

The Ministry of Health has given the go-ahead for organ transplants from deceased donors to be performed in the UAE.

The Ministry of Health has given the go-ahead for organ transplants from deceased donors to be performed in the UAE. Although they were legalised in 1993, that law lacked the medical definitions needed for doctors to perform the surgeries. This week Dr Hanif Hassan, the Minister of Health, signed off on an appendix which provides all the necessary definitions and outlines the rules governing the practice. The National Organ Transplant Committee released the appendix on Sunday. It will come into effect when it is published in the UAE's Official Gazette. It states that an organ can be taken from a deceased donor if he has requested that in his will, or if a majority of his closest relatives agree to it. There are currently more than 1,000 people on kidney dialysis across the country, all of whom require a kidney transplant. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, the capital's largest hospital, set up its multi-organ transplant programme in February 2008 and has performed around 25 live transplants. munderwood@thenational.ae