Row in parliament over organ transplant bill

For the second day in a row, parliament on Tuesday witnessed altercations among National Democratic Party (NDP) and opposition MPs over a draft law aimed at regulating human organ transplants.

NDP representative Ibrahim el-Gogari clashed with fellow ruling party MP Mohamed Khalil for saying that the bill would serve to "kill poor citizens." Khalil pointed out that the Al-Azhar-affiliated Islamic Research Center had challenged the bill’s definition of "death."

House Speaker Fathi Sorour declared that the bill "must" be passed. "We cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world," he said, pointing out that numerous countries had enacted similar laws.

MP Zakaria Azmy called for raising legal penalties to life imprisonment for doctors found to have caused the death of a patient while removing organs.

"Anything less than the death penalty will turn Egypt into the number-one country for trade in human organs," said Farid Ismail, MP for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) opposition movement.

MB representative Ali Laban called for raising compensation in cases of transplant-related deaths to LE1.2 million, in line with the "blood money" stipulated in Islamic law.

Ruling party MP Ahmed Ezz, for his part, objected to the notion of penalizing directors of the hospitals in which transplant operations were performed.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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