Health D-G: Malaysia is against any form of organ trafficking


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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 (Bernama): The Health Ministry (MOH) strongly condemns and is against any form of organ trafficking or the obtainment of an organ for transplantation via trading, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said on Saturday.

Referring to a report by the United Kingdom-based newspaper The Sun dated Aug 8 titled 'Organs for Sale', which alleged a Malaysian was involved in the unscrupulous act, he said, Malaysia's healthcare system neither condones nor allows such heinous acts to occur.

"Malaysia is committed to protecting the health and safety of every donor and recipient in transplantation. This commitment is illustrated in the enactment of the Human Tissue Act (1974), which legally controls the removal of an organ for therapeutic purposes.

"In addition, Malaysia is a signatory of The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism (2008). The declaration states, organs for transplantation should be equitably allocated to suitable recipients without regard to gender, ethnicity, religion, social or financial status," he said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham said with these national and international obligations, the ministry does not support any individuals or organisations engaging in such illegal and unethical procurement, and will give its full cooperation to the investigating authorities if required.

He added the MOH has an established transplant committee that governs organ donation programme, to protect the donor from complications arising from inadequate or false information on organ donation, and to assure that the activity does not involve any form of coercion or organ trading.

"All these measures are crucial as patient safety is of the highest priority in our healthcare system," he said.

In addition, he said the MOH also calls for more Malaysians to pledge as organ donors while reminding that it is crucial that the decision to be an organ donor is conveyed to respective family members.

The Ministry has established the National Transplant Resource Centre (NTRC) as a one-stop centre that provides information and assistance with regards to organ donation and transplantation in Malaysia.

All queries can be channelled to NTRC (03-2681 0681 or email at ntrc@moh.gov.my). - Bernama

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