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versão On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versão impressa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.2 Pretoria  2011


Law, religion and organ transplants


Die reg, geloof en orgaanskenkings



M. SlabbertI; F.D. MnyonganiI; N. GoolamII

IDepartment of Jurisprudence Unisa, Pretoria. E-mail:
IIFaculty of Law Rhodes University, Grahamstown. E-mail:




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.

Key concepts: Christian religion, Muslim religion, organ donation, organ transplantation, rewarded gifting


Enige orgaanskenking in Suid-Afrika, hetsy n skenking van n lewende of n afgestorwe skenker, word tans op altruïstiese gronde gedoen. Dit beteken dit is die keuse van die skenker of die familie van die oorledene om n orgaan te skenk of nie. Daar is geen finansiële vergoeding vir die skenker nie. Byna alle ge-lowe regverdig altruïstiese orgaanskenkings, omdat dit lewens kan red en lewensgehalte kan verbeter. Ten spyte van die positiewe houding van die navolgers van verskeie gelowe ten opsigte van orgaanoorplantings, is daar steeds n wêreldwye tekort aan oorplantbare organe, veral niere. Baie pasiënte sterf terwyl hulle op n oorplanting wag. Die vraag kan daarom tereg gevra word of die verskillende gelowe nie die aandrang om finansiële vergoeding vir skenkers behoort te steun nie. In hierdie artikel val die klem op die Christen- en Moslemgelowe om hulle posi-sie in hierdie verband te probeer peil. Daar word tot die slotsom gekom dat n praktyk wat vergoeding aan skenkers toelaat moontlik moet wees, afgesien van godsdienstige beskouings daaroor, aangesien orgaanskenking n uitdrukking van persoonlike outonomiteit is. Dit is die uitdrukking van selfbeskikking wat aan 'n persoon die reg gee om self te besluit of hy/sy n orgaan altruïsties wil skenk of daarvoor vergoed wil word.

Kernbegrippe: Christelike geloof, Moslemgeloof, orgaanoorplantings, orgaanskenking, skenkervergoeding



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