Organ transplants to commence in private Egyptian hospitals

Private hospitals will begin carrying out organ transplant procedures in early July 2011, according to Egypt’s Minister of Health, Hatem al-Gabali.

The minister urged hospitals to study the new organ transplant law over the next six months in order to comply with its requirements.

In February, the Egyptian parliament gave its final approval for a law regulating transplant operations. The move was hailed as means to curb a thriving illegal trade in human organs.

Press reports contend that many destitute Egyptians sell their kidneys and other body parts in order to square debts and satisfy basic needs.

The new law sparked controversy among medical experts, religious leaders and rights activists. It limits organ donations to “distant relatives” while designating fatalities connected with non-authorized organ removal as first degree murder punishable by death.

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