A doctor works at the organ transplant operation theatre at Mansoura University hospital, north of Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
The Egyptian State Council has finished revising a law regulating organ transplant operations, which will include harsher penalties for illegal or forced operations.
Those who perform an organ transplant by deception or force will also face life in prison and fines of between EGP 1 million and EGP 2 million, with the possibility of a death sentence if the donor or recipient died.
Those who perform or help perform an organ transplant in an unauthorised or unspecialised medical institute or centre will be subject to jail terms, in addition to fines of between EGP 1 and 2 million.
If the operation results in the death of the organ donor, or the recipient, the punishment can reach life in prison.
The person in charge of the medical institute that performed the operation would also face the same penalties.
Organ trafficking is explicitly forbidden in Egypt according to Article 60 of the country’s 2014 constitution.
A 2010 Egyptian law criminalises the selling or buying of organs, with penalties of up to seven years in jail.
Last year, Egyptian authorities arrested 45 suspects -- including Egyptians and foreigners – on suspicion of running an illegal organ trafficking ring, the health ministry and the Administrative Control Authority announced.
The suspects included university professors, doctors, nurses, medical centre owners and brokers involved in illegal organ trafficking.
The centres and hospitals involved in the case were closed on the orders of the health ministry.