• Harvard forumHuffington Post | May 21, 2016
    [read the article]


    By Casey Williams

    More than 121,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant. Some will sit in limbo for as many as five years before receiving an organ. Others won’t live long enough to reach the top of the waiting list: every day in the U.S., 22 people die while waiting for a live-saving transplant.

    There’s no easy solution to the twin problems of organ scarcity and staggering waiting times for transplants.

    Recruiting more living donors could help shrink wait times. But donating an organ is no easy task. Donors are covered by the recipient’s insurance for the actual procedure but are barred by law from receiving money to cover their travel costs or to pay for their recovery. The hefty financial burden often dissuades would-be donors from contributing their organs.

    Deciding who gets an organ when is tricky business as well. When an organ becomes available, potential recipients who live nearby and whose blood type matches the organ usually get first priority. Hospitals also allocate organs based on how urgently patients need them. But there's still much debate over how best to match and distribute organs.

    In a panel discussion hosted by Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health on Friday, experts will discuss these and other issues...

    Click here to watch this fascinating panel discussion featuring Professor Francis Delmonico, the Senior Advisor to the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group.

  • Pope Vatican Radio TimesVatican Radio| June 3, 2016

    [read the article]


    Pope Francis on Friday evening made an unexpected appearance at the Judges' Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime, a two day conference taking place in the Vatican and organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

    Speaking to judges and prosecutors from around the world, the Holy Father asked them "to fulfill their vocation and their crucial mission — to establish justice — without which there is neither order nor sustainable and integral development, nor social peace". He said judges’ unique contribution to humanity is a result of their ‘understanding of indifference and its extreme forms in a globalized world’...

    DICG Senior Advisor Francis Delmonico participated in this meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the Declaration of Istanbul is cited in the declaration produced as a result of the meeting. To learn more, please click here.

  • The Tribune IndiaThe Tribune | June 4, 2016

    [read the article]


    NEW DELHI - Five persons, including two employees of Apollo Hospital, have been arrested for allegedly running an illegal trade of human organs by luring people from across India to donate their kidneys in exchange for money, police said today.

    The five accused have been identified as Aseem Sikdar (37), who hails from North 24 Pargana, West Bengal, Satya Prakash, alias Ashu (30), who hails from Kanpur, UP, Devashish Moulik (30), who hails from New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, Aditya Singh (24) from Aali Vihar, Delhi and Shailesh Saxena, alias Sonu (31), who is a resident of Badarpur in Delhi. Aditya and Shailesh have been working as personal secretaries to Apollo Hospital doctors for the past three to four years, said the police.

    On May 30, the police were tipped off that a gang is involved in the illegal trade of human organs. 

    "It was revealed that the gang lured needy people from various parts of the country to donate their kidney in exchange of money. They also prepared forged papers, including the ID proofs, to establish the relationship between the donors and the recipients. It was also revealed that the staff of Apollo Hospital were also involved in the racket. The recipients were heavily charged for the same whereas a small amount out of it was paid to the donors," said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East District)...

  • Khmer TimesKhmer Times | May 29, 2016
    [read the article]


    A Dhaka court has granted three-day remand for each of five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate, rejecting bail petition.

    Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Hasibul Haq passed the order on Saturday afternoon after they were produced by DB Inspector Alamgir Hossain Patwari, seeking 10-day remand plea for each of them.

    Detectives arrested five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate during drives in different parts of Dhaka.

    - See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-and-rights/2015/aug/29/5-human-organ-traffickers-put-3-day-remand#sthash.uwQQ346t.dpuf

    A Dhaka court has granted three-day remand for each of five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate, rejecting bail petition.

    Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Hasibul Haq passed the order on Saturday afternoon after they were produced by DB Inspector Alamgir Hossain Patwari, seeking 10-day remand plea for each of them.

    Detectives arrested five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate during drives in different parts of Dhaka.

    - See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-and-rights/2015/aug/29/5-human-organ-traffickers-put-3-day-remand#sthash.uwQQ346t.dpuf

    The Council of Ministers approved a draft law last week regulating and controlling organ donations and transplants in response to a World Health Organization (WHO) report which revealed that the lives of patients with non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes could be further endangered following kidney transplants, if done improperly.

    The draft law also attempts to curb the illegal and brutal organ trade, especially in kidneys.

    According to a statement released after a Council of Ministers meeting on Friday, the announcement was made as a result of finding a high incidence of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes after kidney transplants, especially in countries that have average to high incomes.

    “In order to respond to the needed treatment of non-communicable diseases, the medical field has studied research to successfully save the lives of patients. The most common organ that is transplanted is kidneys,” said the statement.

    The four main complications which can occur following a kidney transplant are infections, high blood pressure, diabetes and rejection of the donated organ. Most complications occur in the first few months after a transplant, but can develop after many years.

    The Ministry of Health press statement added that the imbalance of kidney demand versus the number of kidneys donated has caused rampant trafficking of the organ both domestically and internationally.

    “Organ trafficking is globally condemned and curbed by creating laws to manage the donation and transplant of these organs,” it read...

  • BBC newsBBC News | April 20, 2016
    [read the article]


    By Ahemed Maher

    Om Hussein is a mother close to breaking point. Along with her husband and their four young children, she is struggling with poverty like millions of other Iraqis.

    Her husband, Ali, is unemployed. He is diabetic and has heart problems. She has been the breadwinner for the past nine years, eking out a living as a housemaid. But she is now exhausted, and can no longer work.

    "I am tired and we cannot make any money to pay for the rent, medicine, children's needs and food," Ms Hussein said at the family's temporary one bedroom home in eastern Baghdad.

    Their dilapidated house collapsed a few months ago, and they have survived thanks to the help of friends and relatives.

    Her husband added: "I worked at everything you could think of. As a butcher, a day labourer, a rubbish collector. I would not ask for money, but they would give it to us. I would not ask for food.

    "I would tell my son to collect waste bread from the street and we would eat it, but I never asked for food or money."

    Facing such poverty, Ms Hussein was driven to make a huge sacrifice.

    "I decided to sell my kidney," she said. "I could no longer provide for my family. It was better than selling my body or living on charity."...

  • Guardia CivilGuardia Civil | April 11, 2016

    [read the original article in Spanish here/leer en Espanol]


    • The Spanish Civil Guard has detected a Social Security fraud enabling several citizens of Bulgarian to obtain access to dialysis and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.
    • In the Community of Madrid, 14 patients were detected who were fraudulently receiving dialysis or had already received a kidney transplant, resulting in a total cost of more than 1.5 million Euros.
    • The investigation has aborted an illegal medical tourism operation that, had it continued, would have harmed patients on the waiting list for transplants.

    The Civil Guard, as part of operation RENIBUS, has investigated a fraud involving citizens from Eastern Europe, mainly from Bulgaria, who have defrauded Social Security by highly fictitious means, in order to obtain the healthcare card and thus gain access to dialysis treatment and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.

    In the same operation seven fraudulent companies were detected giving foreign workers highly illegal permits, as well as numerous fraudulent contracts in the RETA (Special Scheme for Self-Employed).

    During the investigation, the Guardia Civil has enjoyed the cooperation of the National Transplant Organization, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, and other agencies under the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the Ministry of Health of the Madrid's community.

    The operation began after a complaint was received from the Regional Office for the Coordination of Transplants under the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid, in which an unusual increase in patients from Eastern Europe on waiting lists for kidney transplants was reported.

    The agents found a large number of cases in which people of other nationalities were fraudulently accessing the organ transplant list, an increase that was driven by word of mouth in Bulgaria, influenced by the excellent international reputation of the National Health System and in particular the Spanish Transplant System.

    These people traveled to Spain and sought consultation in a health center, saying they were on vacation or visiting a relative, requesting hemodialysis treatment, which is offered as a medical emergency. In some cases, individuals presented to hospital on the day of their arrival in our country...

    Read more via Google Translate here.

  • Ahmedabad MirrorAhmedabad Mirror | March 16, 2016

    [read the article]


    By

    A thick silence suffocates Pandoli village. The villagers have not got over the shock of finding that 13 men from the village had sold their kidneys illegally to fulfil their basic needs for food, medicines and security. What is worse is that there could be more victims of the kidney scam from the village. Mirror visited the village which has a population of 15,204 residents, and about 4,000 families live below poverty line. Making a mockery of the Gujarat development model, the village falls in Anand district which lies in the affluent NRG-rich belt of Charotar.

    The victims are mostly debt-ridden farmers and daily wage workers who allegedly sold their kidneys to hospitals in New Delhi and Sri Lanka. The racket, which has been reportedly running for over 15 years since 2001, came to light on Monday after police receiving a tip-off that around 80 villagers had sold their kidneys...

  • Harvard forumHuffington Post | May 21, 2016
    [read the article]


    By Casey Williams

    More than 121,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant. Some will sit in limbo for as many as five years before receiving an organ. Others won’t live long enough to reach the top of the waiting list: every day in the U.S., 22 people die while waiting for a live-saving transplant.

    There’s no easy solution to the twin problems of organ scarcity and staggering waiting times for transplants.

    Recruiting more living donors could help shrink wait times. But donating an organ is no easy task. Donors are covered by the recipient’s insurance for the actual procedure but are barred by law from receiving money to cover their travel costs or to pay for their recovery. The hefty financial burden often dissuades would-be donors from contributing their organs.

    Deciding who gets an organ when is tricky business as well. When an organ becomes available, potential recipients who live nearby and whose blood type matches the organ usually get first priority. Hospitals also allocate organs based on how urgently patients need them. But there's still much debate over how best to match and distribute organs.

    In a panel discussion hosted by Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health on Friday, experts will discuss these and other issues...

    Click here to watch this fascinating panel discussion featuring Professor Francis Delmonico, the Senior Advisor to the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group.

  • Pope Vatican Radio TimesVatican Radio| June 3, 2016

    [read the article]


    Pope Francis on Friday evening made an unexpected appearance at the Judges' Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime, a two day conference taking place in the Vatican and organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

    Speaking to judges and prosecutors from around the world, the Holy Father asked them "to fulfill their vocation and their crucial mission — to establish justice — without which there is neither order nor sustainable and integral development, nor social peace". He said judges’ unique contribution to humanity is a result of their ‘understanding of indifference and its extreme forms in a globalized world’...

    DICG Senior Advisor Francis Delmonico participated in this meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the Declaration of Istanbul is cited in the declaration produced as a result of the meeting. To learn more, please click here.

  • The Tribune IndiaThe Tribune | June 4, 2016

    [read the article]


    NEW DELHI - Five persons, including two employees of Apollo Hospital, have been arrested for allegedly running an illegal trade of human organs by luring people from across India to donate their kidneys in exchange for money, police said today.

    The five accused have been identified as Aseem Sikdar (37), who hails from North 24 Pargana, West Bengal, Satya Prakash, alias Ashu (30), who hails from Kanpur, UP, Devashish Moulik (30), who hails from New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, Aditya Singh (24) from Aali Vihar, Delhi and Shailesh Saxena, alias Sonu (31), who is a resident of Badarpur in Delhi. Aditya and Shailesh have been working as personal secretaries to Apollo Hospital doctors for the past three to four years, said the police.

    On May 30, the police were tipped off that a gang is involved in the illegal trade of human organs. 

    "It was revealed that the gang lured needy people from various parts of the country to donate their kidney in exchange of money. They also prepared forged papers, including the ID proofs, to establish the relationship between the donors and the recipients. It was also revealed that the staff of Apollo Hospital were also involved in the racket. The recipients were heavily charged for the same whereas a small amount out of it was paid to the donors," said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East District)...

  • Khmer TimesKhmer Times | May 29, 2016
    [read the article]


    A Dhaka court has granted three-day remand for each of five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate, rejecting bail petition.

    Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Hasibul Haq passed the order on Saturday afternoon after they were produced by DB Inspector Alamgir Hossain Patwari, seeking 10-day remand plea for each of them.

    Detectives arrested five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate during drives in different parts of Dhaka.

    - See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-and-rights/2015/aug/29/5-human-organ-traffickers-put-3-day-remand#sthash.uwQQ346t.dpuf

    A Dhaka court has granted three-day remand for each of five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate, rejecting bail petition.

    Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Hasibul Haq passed the order on Saturday afternoon after they were produced by DB Inspector Alamgir Hossain Patwari, seeking 10-day remand plea for each of them.

    Detectives arrested five members of an international human organ trafficking syndicate during drives in different parts of Dhaka.

    - See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-and-rights/2015/aug/29/5-human-organ-traffickers-put-3-day-remand#sthash.uwQQ346t.dpuf

    The Council of Ministers approved a draft law last week regulating and controlling organ donations and transplants in response to a World Health Organization (WHO) report which revealed that the lives of patients with non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes could be further endangered following kidney transplants, if done improperly.

    The draft law also attempts to curb the illegal and brutal organ trade, especially in kidneys.

    According to a statement released after a Council of Ministers meeting on Friday, the announcement was made as a result of finding a high incidence of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes after kidney transplants, especially in countries that have average to high incomes.

    “In order to respond to the needed treatment of non-communicable diseases, the medical field has studied research to successfully save the lives of patients. The most common organ that is transplanted is kidneys,” said the statement.

    The four main complications which can occur following a kidney transplant are infections, high blood pressure, diabetes and rejection of the donated organ. Most complications occur in the first few months after a transplant, but can develop after many years.

    The Ministry of Health press statement added that the imbalance of kidney demand versus the number of kidneys donated has caused rampant trafficking of the organ both domestically and internationally.

    “Organ trafficking is globally condemned and curbed by creating laws to manage the donation and transplant of these organs,” it read...

  • BBC newsBBC News | April 20, 2016
    [read the article]


    By Ahemed Maher

    Om Hussein is a mother close to breaking point. Along with her husband and their four young children, she is struggling with poverty like millions of other Iraqis.

    Her husband, Ali, is unemployed. He is diabetic and has heart problems. She has been the breadwinner for the past nine years, eking out a living as a housemaid. But she is now exhausted, and can no longer work.

    "I am tired and we cannot make any money to pay for the rent, medicine, children's needs and food," Ms Hussein said at the family's temporary one bedroom home in eastern Baghdad.

    Their dilapidated house collapsed a few months ago, and they have survived thanks to the help of friends and relatives.

    Her husband added: "I worked at everything you could think of. As a butcher, a day labourer, a rubbish collector. I would not ask for money, but they would give it to us. I would not ask for food.

    "I would tell my son to collect waste bread from the street and we would eat it, but I never asked for food or money."

    Facing such poverty, Ms Hussein was driven to make a huge sacrifice.

    "I decided to sell my kidney," she said. "I could no longer provide for my family. It was better than selling my body or living on charity."...

  • Guardia CivilGuardia Civil | April 11, 2016

    [read the original article in Spanish here/leer en Espanol]


    • The Spanish Civil Guard has detected a Social Security fraud enabling several citizens of Bulgarian to obtain access to dialysis and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.
    • In the Community of Madrid, 14 patients were detected who were fraudulently receiving dialysis or had already received a kidney transplant, resulting in a total cost of more than 1.5 million Euros.
    • The investigation has aborted an illegal medical tourism operation that, had it continued, would have harmed patients on the waiting list for transplants.

    The Civil Guard, as part of operation RENIBUS, has investigated a fraud involving citizens from Eastern Europe, mainly from Bulgaria, who have defrauded Social Security by highly fictitious means, in order to obtain the healthcare card and thus gain access to dialysis treatment and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.

    In the same operation seven fraudulent companies were detected giving foreign workers highly illegal permits, as well as numerous fraudulent contracts in the RETA (Special Scheme for Self-Employed).

    During the investigation, the Guardia Civil has enjoyed the cooperation of the National Transplant Organization, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, and other agencies under the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the Ministry of Health of the Madrid's community.

    The operation began after a complaint was received from the Regional Office for the Coordination of Transplants under the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid, in which an unusual increase in patients from Eastern Europe on waiting lists for kidney transplants was reported.

    The agents found a large number of cases in which people of other nationalities were fraudulently accessing the organ transplant list, an increase that was driven by word of mouth in Bulgaria, influenced by the excellent international reputation of the National Health System and in particular the Spanish Transplant System.

    These people traveled to Spain and sought consultation in a health center, saying they were on vacation or visiting a relative, requesting hemodialysis treatment, which is offered as a medical emergency. In some cases, individuals presented to hospital on the day of their arrival in our country...

    Read more via Google Translate here.

  • Ahmedabad MirrorAhmedabad Mirror | March 16, 2016

    [read the article]


    By

    A thick silence suffocates Pandoli village. The villagers have not got over the shock of finding that 13 men from the village had sold their kidneys illegally to fulfil their basic needs for food, medicines and security. What is worse is that there could be more victims of the kidney scam from the village. Mirror visited the village which has a population of 15,204 residents, and about 4,000 families live below poverty line. Making a mockery of the Gujarat development model, the village falls in Anand district which lies in the affluent NRG-rich belt of Charotar.

    The victims are mostly debt-ridden farmers and daily wage workers who allegedly sold their kidneys to hospitals in New Delhi and Sri Lanka. The racket, which has been reportedly running for over 15 years since 2001, came to light on Monday after police receiving a tip-off that around 80 villagers had sold their kidneys...

  • NKF United States

    National Kidney Foundation | February 25, 2016
    [read the article]


    New York, NY - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is calling on members of Congress to support the Living Donor Protection Act introduced in the House and Senate today.

    The bill is designed to protect the rights of living donors and remove barriers to living organ donation. Specifically, the bill would end many forms of insurance discrimination facing living donors and extend job security through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to those who donate an organ.

    “It’s unfortunate that even today we still see our nation’s living donors being denied insurance or having their premiums increased because they made a selfless decision to donate an organ to someone in need,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation. “This bill is an important first step to increase access to transplantation by removing the appalling barriers facing living kidney and liver donors. The National Kidney Foundation urges all members of Congress to support this bi-partisan legislation.”

    In 2014, 17,108 kidney transplants were performed in the United States; however, more than 100,000 Americans are on a wait list for a kidney....

  • ABC NewsABC News | February 18, 2016
    [read the article]


    By Samantha Hawley with Ake Prihantari and Archicco Guilianno

    In Majalaya, in west Java, poverty can be seen everywhere.

    In one local village, 70 per cent of people have no employment and spend their days scavenging through rubbish.

    It is here, about 200 kilometres south-east of Jakarta, the ABC found evidence of an organ trafficking trade where residents have sold their kidneys.

    The lure of 75 million Rupiah, or around $7,500, was too much for eight residents of the local village.

    Two of the victims there, including 18-year-old Ifan, has a wife and a young child.

    In the small, dark and damp room they call home, there are very few possessions and there is not a toy in sight.

    "I was in need of money to pay off my debt," Ifan said.

    "I wanted to get a big amount of money. How could I do that so I could pay off my debt and provide for my family?"

    Ifan said a broker named Amang came to the village to organise the deal, convincing him it was medically safe and his health would not suffer.

    The medical check-ups and surgery took place at the Government-run Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital in central Jakarta.

    With the money, he bought a PlayStation, a television, mobile phones and some gold.

    But it was all stolen three days later.

    "I would say I regret it very much," he said...

  • Delmonico and His HolinessInternational Society of Nephrology | February 16, 2016
    [read the article]


    By Sally Horspool

    Francis Delmonico, Senior Advisor to the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG), has been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. ISN would like to congratulate him on this great achievement.

    pope and DICGThrough the DICG, Delmonico has shown longstanding dedication in combating global organ trafficking, protecting its victims who are sourced for organs and helping exploited patients.

    The DICG’s mission is to promote, implement and uphold the Declaration of Istanbul (DOI) so as to combat organ trafficking, transplant tourism and transplant commercialism and encourage the adoption of effective and ethical transplantation practices worldwide. CLICK HERE for more details.

    The group met with Pope Francis in September 2014. This private audience was arranged by the Mayor of Rome to derive support for the principles of the DOI, CLICK HERE.

    The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was established in 1936 by Pope Pius XI. Its aim is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems.

     

  • Jakarta PostThe Jakarta Post | Feb 6, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Fedina S. Sundaryani and Hans Nicholas Jong

    Health Minister Nila Djuwita Anfasa Moeloek came to the defense of the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM), saying that doctors and administrators of the hospital were unlikely tangled up in the alleged kidney harvesting case.

    Speaking after a meeting with National Police detective division chief Comr. Gen. Anang Iskandar at the police headquarters in South Jakarta, Minister Nila said that RSCM was only engaged in legal kidney transplants and not in the business of selling the organ.

    “Kidney transplants are legal and conducted to help humanity. Currently, [the National Police’s detective division] are investigating the sale of kidneys, which is illegal [...] I don’t think [anyone from within RSCM] was involved,” Nila said.

    Nila said that RSCM had met the standard operating procedures (SOP) that donors must through before undergoing an organ removal operation. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/02/06/minister-police-clash-over-organ-sales.html#sthash.4ibptHxI.dpuf

    Fedina S. Sundaryani and Hans Nicholas Jong,

    Health Minister Nila Djuwita Anfasa Moeloek came to the defense of the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM), saying that doctors and administrators of the hospital were unlikely tangled up in the alleged kidney harvesting case.

    Speaking after a meeting with National Police detective division chief Comr. Gen. Anang Iskandar at the police headquarters in South Jakarta, Minister Nila said that RSCM was only engaged in legal kidney transplants and not in the business of selling the organ.

    “Kidney transplants are legal and conducted to help humanity. Currently, [the National Police’s detective division] are investigating the sale of kidneys, which is illegal [...] I don’t think [anyone from within RSCM] was involved,” Nila said...

    Fedina S. Sundaryani and Hans Nicholas Jong,

     

Trade in kidneys is ethically intolerable

D.E. Martin


Indian Journal Medical Ethics

2016; Epub May 9

Abstract: In India, as in most countries where trade in human organs is legally prohibited, policies governing transplantation from living donors are designed to identify and exclude prospective donors who have a commercial interest in donation. The effective implementation of such policies requires resources, training and motivation on the part of health professionals responsible for organ procurement and transplantation. If professionals are unconvinced by or unfamiliar with the ethical justi cation of the relevant laws and policies, they may fail to perform a robust evaluation of prospective donors and transplant candidates, and to act on suspicions or evidence of illicit activities. I comment here on a recent paper by Aggarwal and Adhikary (2016), in which the authors imply that tolerance of illicit commercialism in living kidney donation programmes is not unreasonable, given the insuf ciency of kidneys available for transplantation. I argue that such tolerance is unethical not only because of the harmful consequences of kidney traf cking, but because professional tolerance of commercialism undermines public trust in organ procurement programmes and impairs the development of sustainable donation and transplant systems.

Read the complete paper here, courtesy of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics.

Read the paper by Aggarwal and Adhikary here, courtesy of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics.

Paid Living Donation and Growth of Deceased Donor Programs

Ghahramani, N


Transplantation Journal

2016;100: 1165-1169

Limited organ availability in all countries has stimulated discussion about incentives to increase donation. Since 1988, Iran has operated the only government-sponsored paid living donor (LD) kidney transplant program. This article reviews aspects of the Living Unrelated Donor program and development of deceased donation in Iran. Available evidence indicates that in the partially regulated Iranian Model, the direct negotiation between donors and recipients fosters direct monetary relationship with no safeguards against mutual exploitation. Brokers, the black market and transplant tourism exist, and the waiting list has not been eliminated. Through comparison between the large deceased donor program in Shiraz and other centers in Iran, this article explores the association between paid donation and the development of a deceased donor program. Shiraz progressively eliminated paid donor transplants such that by 2011, 85% of kidney transplants in Shiraz compared with 27% across the rest of Iran's other centers were from deceased donors. Among 26 centers, Shiraz undertakes the largest number of deceased donor kidney transplants, most liver transplants, and all pancreas transplants. In conclusion, although many patients with end stage renal disease have received transplants through the paid living donation, the Iranian Model now has serious flaws and is potentially inhibiting substantial growth in deceased donor organ transplants in Iran.

Read the complete article in Transplantation here (subscription required).

Our body parts shouldn’t be for sale

Washington PostThe Washington Post | December 29, 2015
[read the article]


By Francis Delmonico and Alexander Capron

Organ transplants have extended and improved the lives of more than a million patients over the past 60 years. This is a testament to the dedication and creativity of medical professionals as well as to the generosity of both living and deceased organ donors.

Nonetheless, the rising rate of kidney disease means that some patients won’t get the transplant they’re waiting for. That shortage of organs has led to proposals to lift the prohibition on payment that has been part of U.S. organ donation law since 1984. But buying organs would be wrong. And aside from being wrong, it would also harm existing, voluntary donation programs and be ineffective in increasing the supply of organs. There are better ways to increase the number of organs donated than paying for donations.

 

In recent decades, thousands of organs have been bought from the destitute around the world, for transplantation into the social elite in their own countries or “transplant tourists” from other nations. This has tarnished the reputation of organ transplantation and led to poor medical outcomes. In all countries, it is the poor who sell organs as a way out of their financial straits — usually only temporarily...

 

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