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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-60

Organ transplantation: Legal, ethical and Islamic perspective in Nigeria


1 Department of Surgery, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
2 Faculty of Law, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria
4 Department of Medicine, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Abubakar A Bakari
Department of Surgery, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 24027394

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

Organ transplantation dates back to the ancient times and since then it has become one of the important developments in modern medicine; saving the lives, as well as improving the quality of life of many patients. As the demand for organ transplantation far exceeds the organ availability, the transplant program is often saddled with complex legal and ethical issues. This review article highlights the legal and ethical issues that might arise regarding organ transplantation and appraises the existing legal frame work governing organ transplantation in Nigeria. Information on legal, cultural, religious and medical ethical issues regarding organ transplantation in Nigeria was obtained by searching the PubMed and Google Scholar, conference proceedings, seminar paper presentations, law library and other related publications were collated and analyzed. In decision making for organ transplantation, the bioethical principles like autonomy, beneficence and justice must be employed. It was believed by Catholic theologians that to mutilate one living person to benefit another violates the principle of Totality. Among Muslim scholars and researchers, there are those who throw legal support as to its permissibility while the other group sees it as illegal. Organ/tissues transplantation is considered a medical intervention that touches on the fundamental rights of the donor or the recipient. Where there is an unlawful infringement of the right of such persons in any way may be regarded as against Section 34 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution dealing with right to dignity of the human person. Worldwide, the researchers and government bodies have agreed on informed consent for organ/tissue donation and for recipient should be obtained without coercion before embarking on such medical treatment Worldwide organ transplantation has become the best medical treatment for patients with end stage organ failure. However, there is no law/legislation backing organ/tissues transplantation in Nigeria. The government should take measures to combat transplantation tourism and the problem of national and international trafficking in human tissues and organs, ethics commission and National Transplant registry should be established in order to monitor and regulate the programme in the country.


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