The advancement of science always produces impacts that trigger debate on ethical issues, both the general ethics and religion-based ethics. One of them is the advancement of medical science in the implementation of organ transplantation technology, organ donor, and animal’s organ donor which is transplanted into the human body. On the other side, ethic-theology is often needed before taking medical action.
Bioethics and Humanities Study Centre, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Gadjah Mada held a dialog entitled Law and Humanity on Body Donation and Organ Donor on Wednesday (2/7) at Senate Room at the faculty. The event which involved experts and religious leaders discussed various opinions from every religions’ perspective on body part and organ donor for patients.
The Professor of Islamic studies from George Mason University, the United States, Prof. Abdulaziz Sachedina said Islam has regulated body part donation as long as it does not lead to the commercialization of the body parts and the human body cannot be considered as a commodity. “Human body is inviolable and it has its own dignity as a part of God’s creation,” said Abdulaziz.
According to Abdulaziz, it is important for Moslems to keep the goal of the God’s creation when formulating organ utilization that is beneficial for those who need organ transplantation, both from living and dead body. “Several constitutions in Moslem countries have been enacted to protect the dignity of the dead and the rights of close relatives to have full access to how the dead bodies are treated in post-mortem situation. At the same time, it is quite clear that the Moslems consider their bodies as belonging to God,” he added.
Based on the theological perspective of Protestant, Priest Wahju S. Wibowo, Ph.D. said organ donor and transplantation are essential to be done for the patients’ treatment as a part of the quality enhancement of someone’s life. “These actions bring the Christianity echo of love,” said Priest Wahju.
However, we have to consider the life status of the organ donor from the dead body. Ethically, organ donor from the dead only can be done after the donor has died. “It is also applied for the body part donor that aims for education,” he added.
From the Hindu’s perspective, according to Prof. Nyoman Kertia, based on the point of view of Hindu regarding panca srada (five basics of belief) which are believing on atman (the God’s holy light), believing on karma, believing on punarbawa (reincarnation), and believing on moksa (reunite with God).
Therefore, organ donation has to be satvica or has a noble goal as well as give benefits to the patient and the donor. “The benefits will be obtained as long as the decision is made with the consent of the donor, the patient, and the families,” said Prof. Nyoman Kertia.
Meanwhile, from the Buddhist perspective, according to Dr. Jotidhammo Mahathera, there is no moral values violation in body and organ donation because it is a real practice of Buddhism. Even Sri Lankan Buddhists are the world’s largest cornea donors with 57 countries being their donor destinations. “Buddhists believe if they donate their eyes in this life, they will have a better sight in the next life,” said Dr. Jotidhammo.
In the perspective of Catholic Church, according to Aloysius Purwa Hadiwardoyo, organ donation is considered as an immoral act if it is done in a way that is not humane or it is done for organ trafficking. “People can give their organs for helping the others as long as it does not harm their life and it has to be done with the spirit of solidarity,” said Aloysius Purwa.
On the other hand, based on the legal perspective, according to the legal practitioner, Bimas Ariyanta, organ donor and transplantation have yet to be further regulated. However, according to Constitution Number 36 in 2009 on Health, the act of organ or body parts trafficking is prohibited no matter the reason. In addition, Government Regulation Number 18 in 1981 regarding clinical post-mortem, anatomically post-mortem, and equipment or organ transplantation only state about the transplantation procedure which is only with the consent from the patient or the family.
“The Government Regulation only regulates the criminal act and organ or body parts transplantation procedures as a regulation that involves the dead donor,” said Bimas Ariyanta.