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View of organ transplantation not clear-cut in Qatar

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submitted on 2023-08-07, 05:52 and posted on 2023-09-26, 13:29 authored by Nature Research

More women than men, and more than half of Qatari Muslims, believe organ transplantation is compatible with Islam, reveals a new survey of awareness of and attitudes towards the practice in Qatar.

Few, however, are aware of its protocol or how it works in practical terms.

Organ transplantation was developed in the second half of the 20th century and has since then saved many people and improved the quality of life of many more. The success of organ donor programmes, however, is largely dependent on public awareness of the issue and a steady supply of willing donors.

Qatar created an active organ transplant programme in 2011 but, as is the case in all other countries with such programmes, the number of people in need of a transplant is far greater than the number of organs available.

To get a clearer picture of why this is the case, Mohamud Verjee of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and his colleagues polled 400 students and employees at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Education City, Doha, about their awareness of organ donation and collected socio-demographic data.

Three hundred people completed the survey — 89% of which were students; nearly 80% were Muslim; and about 63% were female. Approximately one-third were Qatari nationals.

While over 90% of respondents were aware that organ transplantation saves lives, less than half (40%) had heard of the Qatar Organ Donation Center, now known locally as HIBA, and only 8.4% knew who to contact to obtain an organ donor card.

Answers to the religion-related questions revealed that more than 85% of non-Muslim respondents saw no conflict between their religion and organ donation, but only 68.3% of Muslims polled felt so.

The answers also revealed gender differences in attitudes. Nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed stated that Islam supports organ transplantation, compared to fewer than half of the men. “The study was done among university students mainly, and educated women tend to be less traditional in their views about religion than educated men,” explains Laith Abu Raddad, one of the co-authors of the paper.

The researchers suggest that a misunderstanding of organ donation within Islamic law is a major factor contributing to negative attitudes towards the practice, especially for men and non-Qataris. They also point to public awareness campaigns and social media as some of the most effective ways of raising awareness and overcoming this perception.

“Ignorance of the true situation, not religious reservation, is the real issue,” says Verjee. “Finding a way to culturally appeal to the nation is the task, but this will need leadership, energy and honesty.”

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Published in: Highlights, Published by Nature Research for Hamad bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press)



  • English


Nature Research

Publication Year

  • 2014

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University

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