For the last three decades, Egypt has been procrastinating over introducing an official national organ transplant law, citing conflicts between Islam and science as the main reason for stalling.
It's clear the topic throws up complex issues because it forces a blurring of the lines between Islam, the law and medical ethics and the arguments of how to best serve the health of the population.
Although transplants from live donors are permitted, the state recently banned the buying and selling of organs, instead asking people to look to their immediate family for donations.
But despite a thriving illegal trade, the authorities have stopped short of setting up a donor list or a national law regulating the trade of organs, citing Islam as the main obstacle.
Sherine Hamdy, an assistant professor in anthropology at Brown University, says this excuse greatly oversimplifies the issue and is unhelpful to the debate.
Mitya Underwood / The National
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