THE MYTH OF EXTENDING LIFE

Question: Please could you assist me with comment for an article I am working – whereby I am garnering comments from religious organisations on the following:
According to international media reports, A 57-year-old man from the USA has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig. The transplant was considered the last hope of saving his life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances of survival are, said the report.
According to the reports, the pig used in the transplant had been genetically modified to knock out several genes that would have led to the organ being rejected by the man’s body.
The man’s surgeon said these types of organ transplants would bring the world “one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis”.
“People die all the time on the waiting list, waiting for organs. If we could use genetically engineered pig organs they’d never have to wait, they could basically get an organ as they needed it. Plus, we wouldn’t have to fly all over the country at night-time to recover organs to put them into recipients.” he said.
Stemming from this, and looking at the issue of organ shortage in South Africa, my questions are as follows:

  1. What is your view on the extension of life artificially and why?
  2. What is your view on using organs being used from a pig and why:
    -from a human aspect? and – from a religious aspect?

Answer:
1) It is the belief of Islam that life cannot be extended beyond its fixed time. The Qur’aan states emphatically: “No person shall die except with the permission of Allah at the appointed time.”

It is our belief that medical treatment cannot extend / prolong life by a second. The concept of ‘artificially extending life’ is corrupt and a baseless theory of atheists. Ready availability of organs will not prolong life by a second, and non-availability will not shorten life by a second.
2) It is Islamically not permissible to use any pig organ for transplanting into human beings. Since we believe that life cannot be extended beyond its ordained moment of death, it will not be permissible to utilize any haraam (unlawful) method in the futile attempt to thwart death.

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