A new initiative of distributing organ donor cards across the Sultanate by next year is under way. This new step reflects Oman’s efforts to help save lives by promoting the culture of organ donation after brain death.
If the scheme falls in place, those who wish to become organ donors would be able to register their consent through organ donor cards available across the country. Although the cards have been at The Royal Hospital in Muscat for the past 10 years, the new move will make them available at hospitals in all governorates. This will also help to regulate the practice, Dr Issa Salim al Salmi, a senior Omani consultant in medicine/nephrology at The Royal Hospital, told a local newspaper.
Initially, the focus will be on kidney donations because of the prevalence of renal failure in Oman, but the programme will later extend to other body organs. Donors will be able to give their consent to donate their choice of organs as part of the plan. Similar card schemes are routine in places such as the UK and United States.
In September this year, His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al Khalili, the Grand Mufti of Oman, passed a fatwa (a religious ruling) allowing organ transplants after brain death under special circumstances.
Dr al Salmi added that The Royal Hospital had its own database, but under the new system, it would be run in cooperation with the Royal Oman Police. The consent of the individual will be printed on their ID cards so that the information will pop up in the system at any hospital where the patient is being treated. He also said that hospitals would be asked to hold workshops to inform their staff about the new drive.