• Cambodia DailyThe Cambodia Daily | March 28, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Sek Odom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced a woman to 15 years in jail for convincing her two cousins and a neighbor to sell their kidneys in Thailand last year.

    Presiding Judge Keo Mony said 29-year-old Nhem Sinuon— who was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district in July following a 10-day investigation after two of the victims filed complaints with police—was found guilty of illegally exporting human organs, illegal human trafficking and exploitation. 

    Police say Ms. Sinuon had been running a transplant-brokering ring for nearly a year by the time she was arrested, but details of how many such transactions she arranged remain elusive. Ms. Sinuon was found to have forged identification for the two victims so they could pretend to be related to the recipients of their kidneys, which is a requirement under Thai law...

  • Prague Daily MonitorPrague Daily Monitor | March 26, 2015
    [read the article]


    Santiago de Compostela (Spain), 25.03.2015 – Fourteen European states Wednesday signed the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the first international treaty aimed at preventing and combating trafficking in human organs.

    The Convention was opened for signature on the first day of an international conference, organised by the Council of Europe and the Spanish government in Santiago de Compostela, to discuss how to better fight trafficking in human organs, and how to implement the new treaty.

    The convention was signed by Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It is open for signature by any state in the world and will enter into force when five states have ratified it.

    “The illicit removal and trafficking of human organs is a serious human rights violation. Donors are often extremely vulnerable individuals exploited by organised crime, which takes advantage of the shortage of organs available for transplantation. International co-operation is essential to fight this crime. I call on states in Europe and beyond to swiftly sign and ratify the convention”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland...

     

  • ITNSITNS | March 20, 2015


    Chicago, IL - The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) has released a position statement on financial incentives for organ donation.

    ITNS endorses the recommendation of the World Health Assembly and the Declaration of Istanbul that financial incentives for living organ donation be prohibited, as they pose unacceptable risks to potential donors and vulnerable communities across the world, undermine efforts to promote equity in donation and transplantation, and may endanger the progress achieved through best practice in altruistic donation programs.

    ITNS endorses the World Health Assembly recommendation that financial incentives for authorization of organ procurement from deceased persons should be prohibited, recognizing that the next of kin may be vulnerable to harm including exploitation and coercion, and concerned that payment of incentives would undermine public trust in the process of deceased donation.

    ITNS further strongly supports the recommendation of the World Health Assembly, the Declaration of Istanbul and other professional organizations that greater efforts be made to remove financial disincentives to living donation, so as to improve supply of organs for transplantation and reduce inequities in access to living donation.

    ITNS rejects recent proposals for the trial of incentives for living donors, due to the fact that a number of evidence-based strategies of proven efficacy in increasing organ donation have yet to be implemented and should be prioritized, and that although trial risks may be reduced in a highly regulated environment, the legalization of trials in developed countries may exert a negative influence on policy and practice in countries with less capacity for effective regulation.

    “This statement communicates the Society's position on financial incentives for organ donation to our members, other healthcare organizations, patients, and the general public and provides guidance for ITNS members in their professional practice and advocacy work on behalf of patients” commented Sandra Cupples, PhD, RN, FAAN, ITNS Research Director.

    For a copy of the position statement, please visit http://www.itns.org/About/About/postitionstatements.html

     

  • Transplantation DirectRead the Open Letter courtesy of Transplantation Direct here.

    March 12, 2015

    American and international leaders in the field of organ donation and transplantation, as well as jurists, ethicists, anthropologists and public health experts have urged the US Secretary of Human Health and Services to support renewed efforts to promote organ donation.

    The signatories to this Open Letter call for the removal of obstacles to organ donation, in particular financial barriers to living donation. They advocate the appointment of a new Task Force on Organ Donation and Transplantation to help coordinate and oversee such efforts.

    The letter highlights the value and significance of the thirty year old National Organ Transplant Act in the United States, which prohibited trade in organs and provided a framework for the ethical procurement and distribution of human organs. It further emphasises the importance of sustained commitment by the international community to the World Health Organization's Guiding Principles.

    Read the Open Letter here.

  • Cambodia DailyThe Cambodia Daily | March 10, 2015

    [Read the article here]


    By Ouch Sony

    A woman accused of organ trafficking was tried at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday for allegedly persuading her two cousins and a neighbor to sell their kidneys in Thailand last year.

    Anti-human trafficking police arrested Nhem Sinuon, 29, in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district in July after a 10-day investigation following complaints from two of the alleged victims.

    Police said at the time of the arrest that Ms. Sinuon, who also goes by the name Azisah, had been operating a transplant-brokering ring for nearly a year, although they did not provide details on how many kidney sales she had brokered. She was charged with human trafficking and producing fake documents for the two victims so they could pretend to be related to the recipients of their kidneys—a requirement under Thai law...

     

     

  • EBAANZ logo

    Thursday 5th March, 2015

    EBAANZ Ratifies ANZs - first Bioethical Framework for Policy and Practice

    PERTH: Yesterday, Members of EBAANZ ratified Australia and New Zealand’s first regional Bioethics Framework concerning Human Tissue for Ocular Application, during their annual meeting held in conjunction with the Corneal Society, at the Perth Convention Centre.

    Inspired by the Declaration of Istanbul – which was developed to support ethical practice and policy in human organ transplantation internationally - and encouraged by the World Health Organization, EBAANZ members collaborated with corneal surgeons, policy advisers of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, and obstetric representatives, to develop a framework relevant to the ANZ eye bank community and the wider eye care and donor communities. Dr Dominique Martin, bioethicist at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Health Equity also collaborated on the project.

    “The Framework” says EBAANZ Acting-Chair, Dr Graeme Pollock, “focuses on 9 key strategies which are designed to guide care and professional conduct while completing donor consent, tissue preparation and tissue distribution aspects of our cornea, sclera and amnion tissue custodian service.

    “The Framework will support our professionals to work together to address tissue needs within our population and provide guidelines to surgeons and eye banks who are approached by colleagues from other countries for humanitarian support.

    "Our natural instinct is to always help others but we needed some guidelines for decisions about how and where we should help. It also meant that we were ensuring that the generous gifts of ANZ donors were being respected and that our priority remains the ANZ recipients....

     

    Read the complete media release at the Global Alliance of Eye Banking Associations website here.

    You can also download a copy of the framework here.

     

    Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 12.59.07 PM

  • The HillThe Hill | February 27, 2015

    [read the article]


    By David Jonathan Cohen, MD

    In 1983, along with many other kidney doctors, I received an unsettling letter from a new organization established to set up a market in human kidneys.The International Kidney Exchange, Ltd, as the venture was known, offered a simple business model:  buying kidneys from live donors and selling them to people in need of transplants. 

    The negative response was immediate and overwhelming. Within a year, the National Organ Transplantation Act, sponsored by Rep. Al Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), was enacted, outlawing organ donation in exchange for what was termed “valuable consideration.”

    Unfortunately, this idea hasn’t gone away, fueled by the shortage of kidneys and waiting lists that continue to grow. Last year alone, more than 35,000 people joined the US kidney transplant waiting list, and every day, 12 people died while waiting for kidneys. 

    Such statistics are behind a renewed campaign to legalize human organ sales in the United States, with support coming not from a rogue organization  but from respected transplant professionals, economists and ethicists who argue that it’s an idea whose time has come. 

    I beg to differ. Permitting organ donation in exchange for valuable consideration—whether money, health insurance, or some other cash equivalent—was a bad idea in 1983, and it’s a bad idea now...

    Read the complete article at The Hill here.

    Read more about the market debate on the Declaration of Istanbul website here.

  • Cambodia DailyThe Cambodia Daily | March 28, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Sek Odom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced a woman to 15 years in jail for convincing her two cousins and a neighbor to sell their kidneys in Thailand last year.

    Presiding Judge Keo Mony said 29-year-old Nhem Sinuon— who was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district in July following a 10-day investigation after two of the victims filed complaints with police—was found guilty of illegally exporting human organs, illegal human trafficking and exploitation. 

    Police say Ms. Sinuon had been running a transplant-brokering ring for nearly a year by the time she was arrested, but details of how many such transactions she arranged remain elusive. Ms. Sinuon was found to have forged identification for the two victims so they could pretend to be related to the recipients of their kidneys, which is a requirement under Thai law...

  • Prague Daily MonitorPrague Daily Monitor | March 26, 2015
    [read the article]


    Santiago de Compostela (Spain), 25.03.2015 – Fourteen European states Wednesday signed the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the first international treaty aimed at preventing and combating trafficking in human organs.

    The Convention was opened for signature on the first day of an international conference, organised by the Council of Europe and the Spanish government in Santiago de Compostela, to discuss how to better fight trafficking in human organs, and how to implement the new treaty.

    The convention was signed by Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It is open for signature by any state in the world and will enter into force when five states have ratified it.

    “The illicit removal and trafficking of human organs is a serious human rights violation. Donors are often extremely vulnerable individuals exploited by organised crime, which takes advantage of the shortage of organs available for transplantation. International co-operation is essential to fight this crime. I call on states in Europe and beyond to swiftly sign and ratify the convention”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland...

     

  • ITNSITNS | March 20, 2015


    Chicago, IL - The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) has released a position statement on financial incentives for organ donation.

    ITNS endorses the recommendation of the World Health Assembly and the Declaration of Istanbul that financial incentives for living organ donation be prohibited, as they pose unacceptable risks to potential donors and vulnerable communities across the world, undermine efforts to promote equity in donation and transplantation, and may endanger the progress achieved through best practice in altruistic donation programs.

    ITNS endorses the World Health Assembly recommendation that financial incentives for authorization of organ procurement from deceased persons should be prohibited, recognizing that the next of kin may be vulnerable to harm including exploitation and coercion, and concerned that payment of incentives would undermine public trust in the process of deceased donation.

    ITNS further strongly supports the recommendation of the World Health Assembly, the Declaration of Istanbul and other professional organizations that greater efforts be made to remove financial disincentives to living donation, so as to improve supply of organs for transplantation and reduce inequities in access to living donation.

    ITNS rejects recent proposals for the trial of incentives for living donors, due to the fact that a number of evidence-based strategies of proven efficacy in increasing organ donation have yet to be implemented and should be prioritized, and that although trial risks may be reduced in a highly regulated environment, the legalization of trials in developed countries may exert a negative influence on policy and practice in countries with less capacity for effective regulation.

    “This statement communicates the Society's position on financial incentives for organ donation to our members, other healthcare organizations, patients, and the general public and provides guidance for ITNS members in their professional practice and advocacy work on behalf of patients” commented Sandra Cupples, PhD, RN, FAAN, ITNS Research Director.

    For a copy of the position statement, please visit http://www.itns.org/About/About/postitionstatements.html

     

  • Transplantation DirectRead the Open Letter courtesy of Transplantation Direct here.

    March 12, 2015

    American and international leaders in the field of organ donation and transplantation, as well as jurists, ethicists, anthropologists and public health experts have urged the US Secretary of Human Health and Services to support renewed efforts to promote organ donation.

    The signatories to this Open Letter call for the removal of obstacles to organ donation, in particular financial barriers to living donation. They advocate the appointment of a new Task Force on Organ Donation and Transplantation to help coordinate and oversee such efforts.

    The letter highlights the value and significance of the thirty year old National Organ Transplant Act in the United States, which prohibited trade in organs and provided a framework for the ethical procurement and distribution of human organs. It further emphasises the importance of sustained commitment by the international community to the World Health Organization's Guiding Principles.

    Read the Open Letter here.

  • Cambodia DailyThe Cambodia Daily | March 10, 2015

    [Read the article here]


    By Ouch Sony

    A woman accused of organ trafficking was tried at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday for allegedly persuading her two cousins and a neighbor to sell their kidneys in Thailand last year.

    Anti-human trafficking police arrested Nhem Sinuon, 29, in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district in July after a 10-day investigation following complaints from two of the alleged victims.

    Police said at the time of the arrest that Ms. Sinuon, who also goes by the name Azisah, had been operating a transplant-brokering ring for nearly a year, although they did not provide details on how many kidney sales she had brokered. She was charged with human trafficking and producing fake documents for the two victims so they could pretend to be related to the recipients of their kidneys—a requirement under Thai law...

     

     

  • EBAANZ logo

    Thursday 5th March, 2015

    EBAANZ Ratifies ANZs - first Bioethical Framework for Policy and Practice

    PERTH: Yesterday, Members of EBAANZ ratified Australia and New Zealand’s first regional Bioethics Framework concerning Human Tissue for Ocular Application, during their annual meeting held in conjunction with the Corneal Society, at the Perth Convention Centre.

    Inspired by the Declaration of Istanbul – which was developed to support ethical practice and policy in human organ transplantation internationally - and encouraged by the World Health Organization, EBAANZ members collaborated with corneal surgeons, policy advisers of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, and obstetric representatives, to develop a framework relevant to the ANZ eye bank community and the wider eye care and donor communities. Dr Dominique Martin, bioethicist at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Health Equity also collaborated on the project.

    “The Framework” says EBAANZ Acting-Chair, Dr Graeme Pollock, “focuses on 9 key strategies which are designed to guide care and professional conduct while completing donor consent, tissue preparation and tissue distribution aspects of our cornea, sclera and amnion tissue custodian service.

    “The Framework will support our professionals to work together to address tissue needs within our population and provide guidelines to surgeons and eye banks who are approached by colleagues from other countries for humanitarian support.

    "Our natural instinct is to always help others but we needed some guidelines for decisions about how and where we should help. It also meant that we were ensuring that the generous gifts of ANZ donors were being respected and that our priority remains the ANZ recipients....

     

    Read the complete media release at the Global Alliance of Eye Banking Associations website here.

    You can also download a copy of the framework here.

     

    Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 12.59.07 PM

  • The HillThe Hill | February 27, 2015

    [read the article]


    By David Jonathan Cohen, MD

    In 1983, along with many other kidney doctors, I received an unsettling letter from a new organization established to set up a market in human kidneys.The International Kidney Exchange, Ltd, as the venture was known, offered a simple business model:  buying kidneys from live donors and selling them to people in need of transplants. 

    The negative response was immediate and overwhelming. Within a year, the National Organ Transplantation Act, sponsored by Rep. Al Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), was enacted, outlawing organ donation in exchange for what was termed “valuable consideration.”

    Unfortunately, this idea hasn’t gone away, fueled by the shortage of kidneys and waiting lists that continue to grow. Last year alone, more than 35,000 people joined the US kidney transplant waiting list, and every day, 12 people died while waiting for kidneys. 

    Such statistics are behind a renewed campaign to legalize human organ sales in the United States, with support coming not from a rogue organization  but from respected transplant professionals, economists and ethicists who argue that it’s an idea whose time has come. 

    I beg to differ. Permitting organ donation in exchange for valuable consideration—whether money, health insurance, or some other cash equivalent—was a bad idea in 1983, and it’s a bad idea now...

    Read the complete article at The Hill here.

    Read more about the market debate on the Declaration of Istanbul website here.

  • La Nacion Costa RicaLa Nacion | February 15, 2015

    [leer el artículo en español/

    read in English via Google Translate]


    By Ángela Ávalos R

    Cinco hospitales fueron seleccionados por la CCSS para identificar potenciales donadores de órganos entre los pacientes que fallezcan, lo que podría salvar la vida de otros que esperan trasplantes.

    Los centros elegidos son Max Peralta (Cartago), Escalante Pradilla (Pérez Zeledón), San Rafael (Alajuela), San Vicente de Paúl (Heredia), y Enrique Baltodano (Liberia).

    No se descarta integrar a esa lista al Tony Facio (Limón) y al Monseñor Sanabria (Puntarenas), en el futuro cercano.

    La selección se basó en la capacidad que tienen esos cinco hospitales de diagnosticar y mantener un donante cadavérico, explicó el coordinador de trasplantes en la Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), Marvin Agüero Chinchilla.

    Estos centros cuentan con ventilador mecánico para conservar el cadáver oxigenado. También pueden diagnosticar la muerte cerebral, pues tienen neurólogo o neurocirujano. La estrategia, denominada hospital donante, es parte de la ejecución del modelo Red Nacional de Donación y Trasplantes, de la Caja.

     

    Five hospitals were selected by the CCSS to identify potential organ donors among patients who die, which could save the lives of others waiting for transplants. The selected centers are Max Peralta (Carthage), Escalante Pradilla (Perez Zeledon), San Rafael (Alajuela), San Vicente de Paul (Heredia), and Enrique Baltodano (Liberia). It is not excluded that Tony Facio (Limón) and Monsignor Sanabria (Puntarenas) will join that list in the near future.

    The selection was based on the ability of these five hospitals to diagnose and maintain a deceased donor, said the transplant coordinator at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), Marvin Chinchilla Agüero.

    These centers have mechanical ventilators to keep the body oxygenated. They can also diagnose brain death, as they have a neurologist or neurosurgeon. The strategy, called donor hospital, is part of the implementation of the National Donation and Transplant Network model of the Fund...

  • Telegraph IraqThe Telegraph | February 18, 2015

    [read the article]


    Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations asked the Security Council on Tuesday to look at allegations that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is using organ harvesting as a way to finance its operations.

    Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim told reporters that in the past few weeks, bodies with surgical incisions and missing kidneys or other body parts have been found in shallow mass graves.

    "We have bodies. Come and examine them," he said. "It is clear they are missing certain parts."

    He also said a dozen doctors had been "executed" in Mosul for refusing to participate in organ harvesting.

    Mr Alhakim briefed the council on the overall situation in Iraq and accused Isil of "crimes of genocide" in targeting certain ethnic groups...

     

  • Times of IndiaThe Times of India | Feb 8, 2015

    [read the article]


    JAIPUR: At a tender age of 6, a boy from rural area of the state scripted history. He became the first cadaver donor (organs from brain dead people donated to other patients) in the state. His vital organs - liver and kidney were harvested in Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Jaipur, where he was undergoing treatment for an injury he suffered on January 30. Before he died, he saved lives of persons who could survive only by liver and kidney transplant.

    While the kidney transplant was done at a private hospital in Jaipur, the liver was ferried through a green corridor created between Jaipur and Delhi and the organ was donated to a youth in Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS)...

     

  • Times of India Jan2015The Times of India | January 28, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Sushmi Dey

    NEW DELHI: Lakhs of foreigners thronging India every year seeking organ transplantation may find it more difficult now. In an attempt to step up safeguards against misuse, the government has mandated that allocation of organs be made in a specified sequence giving preference to Indians over foreigners.

    However, the medical fraternity has opposed the move alleging this will force doctors to differentiate between patients based on region and nationality, which is a violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act...

Czech Republic signs treaty to combat human organ trafficking

Prague Daily MonitorPrague Daily Monitor | March 26, 2015
[read the article]


Santiago de Compostela (Spain), 25.03.2015 – Fourteen European states Wednesday signed the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the first international treaty aimed at preventing and combating trafficking in human organs.

The Convention was opened for signature on the first day of an international conference, organised by the Council of Europe and the Spanish government in Santiago de Compostela, to discuss how to better fight trafficking in human organs, and how to implement the new treaty.

The convention was signed by Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It is open for signature by any state in the world and will enter into force when five states have ratified it.

“The illicit removal and trafficking of human organs is a serious human rights violation. Donors are often extremely vulnerable individuals exploited by organised crime, which takes advantage of the shortage of organs available for transplantation. International co-operation is essential to fight this crime. I call on states in Europe and beyond to swiftly sign and ratify the convention”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland...

 

ITNS Releases Position Statement on Financial Incentives for Organ Donation

ITNSITNS | March 20, 2015


Chicago, IL - The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) has released a position statement on financial incentives for organ donation.

ITNS endorses the recommendation of the World Health Assembly and the Declaration of Istanbul that financial incentives for living organ donation be prohibited, as they pose unacceptable risks to potential donors and vulnerable communities across the world, undermine efforts to promote equity in donation and transplantation, and may endanger the progress achieved through best practice in altruistic donation programs.

ITNS endorses the World Health Assembly recommendation that financial incentives for authorization of organ procurement from deceased persons should be prohibited, recognizing that the next of kin may be vulnerable to harm including exploitation and coercion, and concerned that payment of incentives would undermine public trust in the process of deceased donation.

ITNS further strongly supports the recommendation of the World Health Assembly, the Declaration of Istanbul and other professional organizations that greater efforts be made to remove financial disincentives to living donation, so as to improve supply of organs for transplantation and reduce inequities in access to living donation.

ITNS rejects recent proposals for the trial of incentives for living donors, due to the fact that a number of evidence-based strategies of proven efficacy in increasing organ donation have yet to be implemented and should be prioritized, and that although trial risks may be reduced in a highly regulated environment, the legalization of trials in developed countries may exert a negative influence on policy and practice in countries with less capacity for effective regulation.

“This statement communicates the Society's position on financial incentives for organ donation to our members, other healthcare organizations, patients, and the general public and provides guidance for ITNS members in their professional practice and advocacy work on behalf of patients” commented Sandra Cupples, PhD, RN, FAAN, ITNS Research Director.

For a copy of the position statement, please visit http://www.itns.org/About/About/postitionstatements.html

 

An Open Letter to HHS Secretary Burwell on Ethically Increasing Organ Donation

Transplantation Direct

Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 1-19

Published Online First March 6, 2015


Hon. Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Washington, DC

Dear Madame Secretary:

In 1984, Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA). That statute not only established the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network but also enshrined in law a principle that had guided the development of organ transplantation worldwide over the previous 30 years: organs from living and deceased donors are precious gifts, and should not be bought and sold as market commodities.

Remove the Obstacles to Donation

The growing demand for transplants currently exceeds the supply of donated organs. In the previous decade, a collaborative effort among the Department of Health and Human Services, organ procurement organizations, physicians, and community groups produced a 25% increase in the number of deceased donor organs. Yet, over the course of the past ten years in the United States, the number of kidney transplants (which account for more than two thirds of all transplants) made possible by living donors has declined by approximately by a thousand...

Read the complete letter here courtesy of Transplantation Direct.

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