The first human organ which was successfully transplanted was a kidney in 1954. Later in the 1960’s transplantation of the liver, heart and pancreas was successfully performed. Transplantation of other organs like lungs and intestinal organs were begun in the 1980s. In UAE the first successful transplantation of a human organ was a kidney from a deceased man to a young woman in May 2013.
According to the provisions of Federal Decree-Law Number 5 of 2016 on Regulation of Human Organs and Tissue Transplantation, the UAE allows the transplantation of Human organs from both deceased and living donors. Article 3 of this Decree-Law aims to;
The transplantation operations of the human organs and tissues can be performed only by specialized physicians in the medical field licensed by the competent health authority. Whoever conducts transplantation operation of human organs and tissues outside the licensed medical facilities will be punished with imprisonment for 1 year and a penalty of fine, not less than AED 500,000 and not more than 1,000,000 will be imposed. Article 5 of this Decree-Law prohibits activities like;
In recent years, UAE had made significant changes in modernizing its healthcare system by creating new authorities. As a part, various regulatory authorities such as the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Ministry of Health, Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the Emirates Health Authority (EHA) were established to manage the public healthcare services, which are free for its nationals. The federal government has the authority to enact laws relating to public healthcare, medical services, and insurance of all kinds. In UAE there are several public hospitals and private clinics which offer high standard health care to the patients. Trafficking of human organs and illegal and unauthorized organ transplants are banned in UAE. Hence, to avoid such illegal and unauthorized organ transplants the UAE government has established four licensed facilities for the transplantation of human organs and tissues in the UAE. They are;
Transfer of any organs or tissues from a deceased is permissible only when the following requirements are fulfilled:
Under the National Program for Organ Transplantation, the UAE Ministry Of Health And Prevention (MOHAP) has formed a national donors’ registry. According to this program, anyone in the UAE can become a donor or recipient of organs regardless of their nationality, and the information regarding this will be linked to a person’s Emirates ID. The UAE government in September 2020, has sanctioned a decision regarding the establishment of a National Centre To Regulate Human Organs And Tissues Transplantation which will be operating under the Ministry of Health and Prevention. The center aims to standardize and regulate the transplantation operations of human organs and tissues across the country.
According to Article 20 of the Decree-Law, whosoever sells, buys, offers to sell or buys, or part of such selling or buying human organs and tissues will be kept in imprisonment and a fine not less than AED 30,000 and not more than AED 100,000 will be imposed. Article 21 states that whoever trades or mediates to traffic human organs and tissues shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 7 years and a fine amount not less than AED 500,000 and not exceeding 3,000,000 will be imposed. Whoever forcibly or fraudulently removes any organ or tissues from a living person will be punished with imprisonment for ten years and a fine not less than AED 1,000,000 and not more than 10,000,000 will be imposed. And if such act caused the death of the affected person or partly or wholly handicapped the person, then the penalty shall be life imprisonment, and a fine not less than AED 20,000,000 will be imposed. If any doctor transfers or transplants any human organs and tissues knowingly that such surgery involves commercial trade shall be punished with imprisonment for 6 months and a fine not less than AED 500,000 and not more than AED 1,000,000 will be imposed.