Pakistani doctor to speak on kidney donations

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | 7:55 p.m. CDT; updated 9:35 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Dr. Farhat Moazam, pediatric surgeon, professor and author, will be speaking at noon Wednesday in the Monsanto Auditorium in the Bond Life Sciences Center on the MU campus.

Moazam, founding chair and professor at the Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation in Karachi, Pakistan, will be speaking on topics covered in her book, “Bioethics and Organ Transplantation in a Muslim Society: A Study in Culture, Ethnography and Religion,” as well as other research she has done with regards to kidney transplantation. Moazam is also a fellow with the Institute of Practical Ethics and a visiting professor at the Center for Humanism in Medicine at University of Virginia.

She is involved with the World Health Organization’s efforts to stop the organ trafficking that is occurring throughout the world. People from poorer countries sell their kidneys to desperately ill people who desire to have transplantation, she said.

“We have forgotten that when somebody gets a disease, the illness is as much a part of it as the disease in the organ,” she said. “It doesn’t just affect the patient. It affects the family, the larger community. The illness is more than just a disease.”

Born in Pakistan, Moazam said she has always looked at life through the eyes of a physician. After completing her surgical training in the United States, she returned to Pakistan and saw the differences between the United States’ way of practicing medicine and that of Pakistan.

“It was an interesting experience for me,” she said. “The science was the same, but the local indigenous culture was different, and that’s very much a part of the human experience when someone is ill.”

Moazam’s guest lecture will be followed by a discussion and a book signing and is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Center on Religion and the Professions. For more information, click here.

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