KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Organ donors are not segregated by religion or other social criteria, the Health Ministry said today in response to a local entertainer who asked if they should be indicated as Muslims or non-Muslims.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah explained that organs harvested from donors were distributed solely on clinical criteria, such as waiting times and suitability between donors and recipients.
“Organ allocations are not based on race, religion, background, social standing and others,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.
“This means that there is a possibility that organs donated by non-Muslims will be given to Muslims and vice-versa. The same goes for blood donations and transfusions.
He also attached two edicts from the Muzakarah National Fatwa Committee Council in Islamic Affairs, one which said heart and eye donations were “harus” (encouraged) while the other said there was no need to differentiate between Muslim and non-Muslim blood.
Dr Noor Hisham was referring to a video by controversial entertainer Wee Meng Chee or Namewee, in which the latter questioned if his donor card should carry an indication that he was not a Muslim.
In the video apparently mocking the recent enforcement against pig-bristle brushes, Wee said he wanted to avoid situations where he could be posthumously prosecuted in the event his “non-halal” organs are given to Muslims.
In the latest flash point involving religious regulations here, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry raided hardware shops nationwide and confiscated thousands of paintbrushes made with pig bristles for improper labelling.
The ministry has since ended its “crackdown”, choosing instead to now advise retailers to ensure that the proper labels are attached.