Hospitals in the West Midlands are urging Muslims to consider donating their organs for patients waiting for transplants. Muslims needing an organ donation, such as a new kidney or liver, wait on average a year longer than non-Muslims.
This is due to a lack of donors coming forward from a matching ethnic background. The reason for the lack of suitable ethnic donors is uncertainty over whether Islam condemns or condones the practice of organ donation.There is much confusion, in part because there is nothing in the Koran which can be referred to, and because scholars have differing opinions.
The shortage of donors is not just a British problem. In April, Islamic scholars came together at Karachi University in Pakistan to discuss the issue. Figures from the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation show that there are fewer organ transplants from deceased people in Muslim-majority countries, compared with the rest of the world.
For some states of course, that could be down to a lack of investment in medical facilities. For others, it is a religious matter.