Mahdiya AbdulhussainAl-Mahdi Institute
Mahdiyah Abdul-Hussain has a background in both Islamic jurisprudence and an LLM in Medical Law and Bioethics from the University of Birmingham. She conducted her research on Organ Donation in Shi’i Jurisprudence gaining an MRes from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is currently working at Al-Mahdi Institute as a Research Associate, most recently organising an international multidisciplinary conference entitled, Islamic Perspectives on Organ Donation. She also teaches introductory modules on Islamic Theology and Legal Methodology on Al-Mahdi Institute’s four year Hawza Programme.
Organ Donation: Presumed Consent and Bodily Ownership
To tackle the chronic shortage of organ donors, England is currently transitioning towards a system of presumed consent, also known as the opt-out system, to be implemented by spring 2020. All adults in England, except for those who lack capacity, will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs unless they record a decision not to donate. For Muslims, this raises a plethora of theological questions including the issue of bodily ownership. Who owns the human body and therefore, has the right to decide whether organs can be donated or not? Is God the true owner and people have been entrusted with their bodies in the same way that they have been entrusted with their lives or do people have autonomy over their own bodies?