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Organ Donation and Stem Cell Donation in Islam

BBSIG-16: Organ Donation and Stem Cell Donation in Islam

This guidance wholly deals with the issue of organ donation and stem cell donation in Islam from an Islamic law perspective within the context of Britain. The guidance attempts to answer one simple question: ‘What is the Islamic position on organ donation?’ There are three target groups for this guidance: (1) the general Muslim public, (2) Muslim scholars and health care professionals, and (3) policy makers.

Summary of guidance for general Muslim public

The executive summary of this guidance for the general Muslim public is to understand that there is no definitive Islamic position on organ donation. The issue of organ donation, like other biomedical issues, is ijtihādī (based on the scholarly outputs of Muslim scholars), as a result of which there are a number of Islamic opinions on this issue. All of these positions can qualify as valid Islamic positions. This guidance is to help people understand these multiple positions. People should then discuss with their family members, imams, chaplains, consultants as to what the best opinion is for their situation. All scholars agree that stem cell donation is permissible.

Summary of guidance for Muslim scholars and Muslim health care professionals

Muslim scholars and health care professionals need to engage with each other to understand the Islamic ethical rulings around organ donation. They need to recognise and acknowledge the diversity of opinions available in an ijtihādī matter like organ transplantation. Their role is to provide practical guidance for individuals considering organ donation or stem cell donation, taking into account personal circumstances and beliefs. Finally, they need to offer guidance to families who are navigating the decisionmaking process for organ donation of a deceased loved one, considering both religious and emotional aspects. This guidance should help them to address the aspect of recognising diversity of opinions on organ donation in Islam.

Summary of guidance for policy makers

This guidance will assist policy makers to understand the sensitivities around the issue of organ donation for Muslims, especially related to bodily integrity and dignity. It should help them understand that there are particular Muslim religious needs which are not shared by other ethnic minority communities. Organ donation campaigns that do not address specific Muslim concerns will fall on deaf ears. This guidance will assist them in understanding what some of the unique theological concerns for Muslims are.

To read and download the full guidance please click below:
BBSIG-16-Organ Donation and Stem Cell Donation in Islam