UAE Hospitals Make Lists of Patients to Receive Kidney Donations from Dead Donors
Feb 27, 2017 10:31 AM EST
After President Sheikh Khalifa issued a law enabling transplants of organs from dead people, hospitals in the UAE are now coming up with lists of patients with kidney failure in an attempt to identify potential candidates for organ transplants from deceased individuals. Doctors are looking forward to the implementation of the proposed transplant process next month.
"We will have a group of patients ready should an organ be available," announced Dr. Nick Richards, chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Seha’s dialysis services. An official agreement on this notion of transplanted organs from dead people had already been made over two years ago.
“The new law regulates transplantation of human organs and tissues, which saves many lives and restores essential functions for many otherwise untreatable patients,” Dr. Ameen Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and Prevention for Public Health Policy and Licensing, explained to Gulf News. Such law does not allow the sale of human organs and other body parts while their unlicensed advertising is banned as well. In addition, the new law allows donations of bone marrow from minors and legally incompetent individuals, given that the marrow will be used in transplants for their parents, siblings or children.
The law, however, permits donation of bone marrow from minors or legally incompetent persons, provided that the marrow is transplanted in parents, siblings or children of the donor. Written consent from the donor’s guardian is required in this case.
However, at the time of the declaration of this transplant law, it was still necessary to come up with a consensus relating to the concept of brain death. In 2013, the first kidney transplant was performed from a deceased Saudi donor to a 23-year-old woman in Abu Dhabi. The surgery was carried out at Seha’s Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, as reported in The National.
According to Richards, he looks forward to donations from deceased donors over the next few months. However, other physicians and patients alike believe that proper education on this process is of great importance. Kidney transplants using dead people’s organs should also be formally introduced in other parts of the world.
"It’s about informing people and having discussions with the relative," he said. "There will be some people, like in Europe, whose relatives will refuse, and that must be respected."
Spain has currently reported the highest number of kidney transplants in the world where at least 44 transplants are made annually on every million of the population. In Abu Dhabi, there are 1,100 patients on dialysis while 30 to 40 transplants are made annually at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.