Singapore's health ministry has described as ' very positive', a development that changes donor rules and allows a Muslim to become a donor, if he so wishes.
Till now, Singapore's Muslims were exempted from the country's organ donation rule. This stemmed from the belief that the dead should be buried intact- unless they give active consent to be a donor. The ruling will remove their exemption from a law allowing doctors to remove the heart, kidneys or liver of a corpse.
Yet, as with all other Singaporeans, Muslims will be able to opt out of the donation scheme while they are alive.
The Health Ministry welcomed the move, but announced that the rule change would not come into effect until the donation law had been altered to include Muslims.
"It is a very positive development that will significantly enhance the access of Muslims with organ failure to donated organs," a spokeswoman of the Health Ministry was quoted. Official figures give that around 16,000 from 300,000 eligible Muslims have pledged their organs for donation.
Meanwhile, Singapore's Fatwa Committee, led by its highest Islamic authority, Mufti Syed Isa Semait has ruled that there are enough chances to opt out of the donation program.
Muslims make up about 15 percent of Singapore's population.