The isolation unit at Rafik Hariri Hospital in Beirut, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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In Lebanon, organ donation rates are very low. According to estimates by the National Organization for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation (NOD-LB), over 600 patients are currently in need of a transplant. Given the odds, Anouti's family decided to transfer him to Iran – a country with high transplant rates where organ donations to foreigners were, at the time, still possible. In Lebanon, meanwhile, only 30-40 percent of families give their approval for organ donations.Often this denial is based on religious grounds, despite all official religious bodies having agreed on the permissibility of conditional organ donation. These conditions exclude sperm donation, and stipulate that no financial transactions should be made between the two parties, Mzawak explained. They also rule against donation in the case of a pre-existing medical condition that could endanger the donor's life. In the case of a deceased donor, the fatwa permits donations provided a will has been left behind by the deceased that allows for the donation. Between 2010, when NOD-LB started operating, and 2014, organ donations rates have improved, thanks to funds from the Spanish government.Organ donation recipient Anouti is confident that, with time, the rationale behind organ donation will prevail.
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