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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X


SLABBERT, M.; MNYONGANI, F.D.  and  GOOLAM, N.. Law, religion and organ transplants. Koers (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.76, n.2, pp.261-282. ISSN 2304-8557.

Currently any organ donation in South Africa, whether from a living or a dead donor, is donated altruistically, which means that it is the free choice of the donor or the family of the deceased to donate organs. There is no financial compensation for the donor. Nearly all religions support altruistic organ donations as it serves or promotes life. But, despite the positive attitude of the followers of different faiths towards organ transplantations, there is a worldwide shortage of transplantable organs, especially kidneys. Many patients die while waiting for a transplant organ from an altruistic donor. The question may therefore be asked whether the different religions should not also support the clamouring for the financial rewarding of an organ donor. In this article the emphasis is on the Christian and Muslim faiths to try and fathom their position in this regard. In conclusion, however, we argue that financial compensation to donors, as a general practice, should be allowed irrespective of religious arguments, as the decision to donate altruistically or to receive compensation is an expression of personal autonomy.

Keywords : Christian religion; Muslim religion; organ donation; organ transplantation; rewarded gifting.

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