What does this mean? With regards to organ donation, Singapore utilises the opt-out approach, whereby a person is assumed to have agreed to donate his organs when he dies unless he signs an opt-out form. This law previously only covers non-Muslims, but with this new edict, Muslims are governed by Hota as well. The need for this ruling has arisen as a result of too few Muslims have in Singapore have opted in to become organ pledgers. In fact, the trend in this country sees the number of Muslim pledgers falling in the last three years from 924 (2004) to 496 (2005) t0 87 (2007).
The Fatwa Committee of Singapore is of the view that:
...Hota gives a Muslim enough opportunity to opt out during his lifetime, and that this approach to obtaining consent is in keeping with Islamic law.Malaysia, however, does not have similar laws. We use the approach of opting in should one volunteers to become an organ pledger (and hence, donor when the time comes and when the need arises). While I agree that becoming an organ pledger and eventually an organ donor should be voluntary, extra effort must be taken to ensure that those waiting for organs do not die waiting.