Kuwait Times | Lisa Conrad
KUWAIT: "Why bury perfectly good tissue and organs when they could be used to save someone's life instead?" asked Dr Mustafa Al-Mousawi, the head of the Ministry of Health's (MoH) Organ Procurement Unit. Speaking to the Kuwait Times yesterday, the senior MoH official explained that whilst Kuwait has relatively high rates of organ donation when compared with other Middle Eastern countries, it's still well behind the US and Europe in this area.
We have a slightly higher rate [in Kuwait] because we've been organizing ourselves since 1996," Dr. Al-Mousawi revealed. "We started a course, with the help of Eurotransplant, which made a great deal of difference, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
Around 25 percent of the families of deceased individuals in Kuwait give their consent when contacted to donate their loved ones' organs to save others' lives. While this is a higher-than-average figure for the Middle East, however, it's still some way behind the same figure in Europe, which currently stands at 75%, so there's still progress to be made in this area, explained Dr. Al-Mousawi.
The senior MoH official attributed the differing attitudes towards organ donation between the Middle East and Europe to culture, "Many from Islamic backgrounds feel that it is wrong to alter the body of the deceased. However, we asked religious leaders about this issue specifically and they said that because you are saving people's lives as a result, it is permissible.