Malaysia against any form of organ trafficking, says health ministry

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says Malaysia is committed to protecting the safety of every organ donor and recipient.

KUALA LUMPUR: The health ministry today said it condemns any form of organ trafficking or the obtaining of an organ for transplantation via trading.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah 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,” Noor Hisham said in a statement when referring to a report by UK-based The Sun newspaper titled “Organs for sale”, which alleged that a Malaysian was involved in such transactions.

“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 for gender, ethnicity, religion, social or financial status.”

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

He said the ministry has an established transplant committee that governs organ donation programmes to protect the donor from complications arising from inadequate or false information on organ donation and to ensure that the activity does not involve any form of coercion or organ trading.

He also called for more Malaysians to pledge as organ donors.