Wed, 16 Jul 2003

Ulema against trade in human organs

JAKARTA: The country's largest Muslim organizations have called for a drive against trade in human organs, saying that it violated religious and social values.

Irfan Zidny, an executive member of Nadhlatul Ulama's law making body, and his Muhammadiyah counterpart Wibisono told a seminar here that Islam prohibits the practice, because human organs belong to God and therefore deserve "honorable treatment".

Nadhlatul Ulama, claiming to have 40 million members, is the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, while Muhammadiyah is the second.

The seminar was held to raise public awareness on the health bill which is now being prepared by the House of Representatives to replace the 1992 health law.

Representatives from the Catholic church, the Protestant church and Hindu religion also shared their concern about the trade.

Another speaker, Insp. Gen. Edi Darnadi, the National Police Director for Special Crimes, suggested that the health bill define the trade more specifically to help the police enforce the law.

He said the police had found no cases related to human organs transplants which could be categorized as crimes over the last two years. -- Antara