• Kidney for sale - Iran has a legal market for the organsLos Angeles Times | 15 October 2017
    [read the article]


    By Shashank Bengali and Ramin Mostaghim

    'Kidney for sale': Iran has a legal market for the organs, but the system doesn't always work

    The advertisements are scrawled in marker on brick walls and tree trunks, and affixed to telephone utility boxes, sidewalks and a road sign pointing the way to one of Iran’s leading hospitals.

    “Kidney for sale,” read the dozens of messages, accompanied by phone numbers and blood types, splashed along a tree-lined street opposite the Hasheminejad Kidney Center in Tehran.

    New ads appear almost daily. Behind each is a tale of individual woe — joblessness, debt, a family emergency — in a country beset by economic despair.

  • Eight arrested in Nowshera for illegal kidney transplantsThe Express Tribune | 26 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Tribune Correspondent

    Eight arrested in Nowshera for illegal kidney transplants

    The FIA has arrested eight people, including a surgeon, for being involved in an illegal kidney transplant racket in Nowshera, officials said on Tuesday. “It [kidney transplantation] was being carried out illegally where poor people were offered some money for donating their kidneys,” said Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official Mumtaz...

  • Why kidney rackets in India flourishHindustan Times | 04 October 2017
    [read the article]


    By Sanchita Sharma

    Why kidney rackets in India flourish with impunity

    The lynchpin of the most unprecedented racket was Amit Kumar (pic), who has no training in medicine or surgery. He has instead shown skill in evading the law, changing names and moving cities several times each time he secured bail after an arrest.

    Each year, more than two lakh (100,000) people need new kidneys but only 8,000 get them. The demand-supply mismatch creates a space for organ rackets where fake doctors carry out surgeries and forge documents to show donors and recipients as family...

  • From Yemen to EgyptMiddle East Eye | 30 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By MEE contributor

    Misery of Yemen's organ donors: 'It is better to starve to death'

    Ali was desperate for work. War had engulfed Yemen, he had eight children to support and he couldn't get enough jobs as a labourer to make ends meet. In early 2016 he yet again found himself walking up and down the streets near the Qat market in al-Sonaina, a quiet and poor neighbourhood of the Yemeni capital Sanaa...

  • Rewarding families WebsiteScroll.in | 28 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Sanjay Nagral, Vivek Jha & Dominique Martin

    Rewarding families of deceased organ donors is an ethical minefield, especially in India

    India, with its history of organ trade rackets, should be cautious before proposing incentives that may be on the slippery slope towards organ commerce.

    In September, the Central government announced plans to set up a fund for families of people who have donated organs after brain stem death. The fund will support the education of children of deceased donors as well as medical expenses of other family members...

  • Trafficking in SpainEFE Agency | 26 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Rafael Matesanz

    The threat of transplant tourism

    The Spanish model promoted by the National Transplant Organization since 1989 has allowed us to maintain global leadership for 25 years, with the greatest chances of receiving a transplant in a service that is public, universal and without discrimination. This position of privilege contrasts brutally with a widespread international situation of scarcity. The numbers are outrageous. The annual demand for transplants is estimated to be between 2-2.5 million patients while the transplant process does not exceed 127,000 operations: only 5-6 percent of those who need a transplant get one. On the other hand, in Spain more than 90 percent of these patients get one in time. These differences shine a spotlight on us for people around the world who aspire to get transplants in our country...

  • Conversations Deakin WebsiteControversial Conversations
    [more details here]


    Saturday, 28 October 2017

    Deakin University Melbourne Burwood Campus

     

    This Public Forum brings together a range of international and Australian experts in the ethics of donation and transplantation, health policy makers and professionals and community leaders, to share their knowledge and experience regarding some of the most important and controversial issues of interest to the Australian public. An unprecedented opportunity for members of the public, health professionals, students, academics, journalists and policy makers to learn about a range of issues, and to be part of a lively conversation with a variety of stakeholders exchanging perspectives and ideas...

  • Kidney for sale - Iran has a legal market for the organsLos Angeles Times | 15 October 2017
    [read the article]


    By Shashank Bengali and Ramin Mostaghim

    'Kidney for sale': Iran has a legal market for the organs, but the system doesn't always work

    The advertisements are scrawled in marker on brick walls and tree trunks, and affixed to telephone utility boxes, sidewalks and a road sign pointing the way to one of Iran’s leading hospitals.

    “Kidney for sale,” read the dozens of messages, accompanied by phone numbers and blood types, splashed along a tree-lined street opposite the Hasheminejad Kidney Center in Tehran.

    New ads appear almost daily. Behind each is a tale of individual woe — joblessness, debt, a family emergency — in a country beset by economic despair.

  • Eight arrested in Nowshera for illegal kidney transplantsThe Express Tribune | 26 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Tribune Correspondent

    Eight arrested in Nowshera for illegal kidney transplants

    The FIA has arrested eight people, including a surgeon, for being involved in an illegal kidney transplant racket in Nowshera, officials said on Tuesday. “It [kidney transplantation] was being carried out illegally where poor people were offered some money for donating their kidneys,” said Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official Mumtaz...

  • Why kidney rackets in India flourishHindustan Times | 04 October 2017
    [read the article]


    By Sanchita Sharma

    Why kidney rackets in India flourish with impunity

    The lynchpin of the most unprecedented racket was Amit Kumar (pic), who has no training in medicine or surgery. He has instead shown skill in evading the law, changing names and moving cities several times each time he secured bail after an arrest.

    Each year, more than two lakh (100,000) people need new kidneys but only 8,000 get them. The demand-supply mismatch creates a space for organ rackets where fake doctors carry out surgeries and forge documents to show donors and recipients as family...

  • From Yemen to EgyptMiddle East Eye | 30 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By MEE contributor

    Misery of Yemen's organ donors: 'It is better to starve to death'

    Ali was desperate for work. War had engulfed Yemen, he had eight children to support and he couldn't get enough jobs as a labourer to make ends meet. In early 2016 he yet again found himself walking up and down the streets near the Qat market in al-Sonaina, a quiet and poor neighbourhood of the Yemeni capital Sanaa...

  • Rewarding families WebsiteScroll.in | 28 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Sanjay Nagral, Vivek Jha & Dominique Martin

    Rewarding families of deceased organ donors is an ethical minefield, especially in India

    India, with its history of organ trade rackets, should be cautious before proposing incentives that may be on the slippery slope towards organ commerce.

    In September, the Central government announced plans to set up a fund for families of people who have donated organs after brain stem death. The fund will support the education of children of deceased donors as well as medical expenses of other family members...

  • Trafficking in SpainEFE Agency | 26 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Rafael Matesanz

    The threat of transplant tourism

    The Spanish model promoted by the National Transplant Organization since 1989 has allowed us to maintain global leadership for 25 years, with the greatest chances of receiving a transplant in a service that is public, universal and without discrimination. This position of privilege contrasts brutally with a widespread international situation of scarcity. The numbers are outrageous. The annual demand for transplants is estimated to be between 2-2.5 million patients while the transplant process does not exceed 127,000 operations: only 5-6 percent of those who need a transplant get one. On the other hand, in Spain more than 90 percent of these patients get one in time. These differences shine a spotlight on us for people around the world who aspire to get transplants in our country...

  • Conversations Deakin WebsiteControversial Conversations
    [more details here]


    Saturday, 28 October 2017

    Deakin University Melbourne Burwood Campus

     

    This Public Forum brings together a range of international and Australian experts in the ethics of donation and transplantation, health policy makers and professionals and community leaders, to share their knowledge and experience regarding some of the most important and controversial issues of interest to the Australian public. An unprecedented opportunity for members of the public, health professionals, students, academics, journalists and policy makers to learn about a range of issues, and to be part of a lively conversation with a variety of stakeholders exchanging perspectives and ideas...

  • WP China WebsiteThe Washington Post | 15 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Simon Denyer

    China used to harvest organs from prisoners. Under pressure, that practice is finally ending.

    China’s organ-transplant system was once a cause of international scorn and outrage, as doctors harvested organs from prisoners condemned to death by criminal courts and transplanted them into patients who often paid dearly for the privilege. After years of denials, China now acknowledges that history and has declared that the practice no longer occurs — largely thanks to the perseverance of a health official who, with the quiet backing of an American transplant surgeon, turned the system around over the span of a decade...

  • HOU India WebsiteThe Times of Israel | 25 September 2017
    [read the article]


    By Raoul Wootlift

    Head of transplant organization arrested over ‘organs for donations’ scheme

    Charity suspected of bumping potential recipients to top of waiting list in exchange for funding, paying illegal compensation to donors.

    Police on Monday arrested the head of a charity that facilitates voluntary organ donations in Israel, and three of its employees, on suspicion that it illegally traded organs for donations. The arrests took place alongside raids on the suspects’ homes and the organization’s head offices in Jerusalem, according to a police statement...

Providing coverage for the unique life‐long health care needs of living kidney donors within the framework of financial neutrality

J.S. Gill, F. L. Delmonico, S. Klarenbach, A. M. Capron


AJT logo

2016; Epub November 26

Abstract

Organ donation should neither enrich nor impose financial burdens on donors. We describe the scope of health care required for all living kidney donors that reflects contemporary understanding of long-term donor health outcomes, propose an approach to identify donor health conditions which should be covered within the framework of financial neutrality, and propose strategies to pay for this care. Despite the Affordable Care Act in the United States, donors continue to have inadequate coverage for important health conditions that are either donation related or may compromise post-donation kidney function. Amendment of Medicare regulations is needed to clarify that surveillance and treatment of conditions that may compromise post-donation kidney function following donor nephrectomy will be covered without expense to the donor. In other countries lacking health insurance for all residents, sufficient data exist to allow creation of a compensation fund or donor insurance policies to ensure appropriate care. Providing coverage for donation-related sequelae as well as care to preserve post-donation kidney function ensures protection against the financial burdens of health care encountered by donors throughout their lifetime. Providing coverage for this care should thus be cost-effective even without considering the health care cost savings that occur in living donor transplant recipients.

Click here to read the article (subscription required).

New paper highlights difficulties of measuring transplant tourism

AJT logo

In a new paper in the American Journal of Transplantation, Ambagtsheer et al. (2016) "conclude that the scientific literature does not reflect a large number of patients buying organs." After performing a literature review, they document 6002 transplant tourists internationally, between 1971 and 2013, of whom 1238 reportedly obtained commercial transplants. However, in a letter commenting on the study, Ahn et al. (2016) note that Saudi Arabia alone has reported a total of 6079 patients obtaining kidney transplants abroad between 1998 and 2013. The authors of both papers highlight the difficulties of estimating global activity in commercial transplants and travel for transplantation, and the limits of literature reviews. They also emphasise the valuable roles of national and international registries and of transplant professionals in collecting and reporting data on these phenomena, as the comprehensive data published by the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation illustrates. 

The DICG is currently working with members and collaborating organizations to develop tools and guidelines that will facilitate collection and analysis of data concerning travel for transplantation and organ trafficking, in order to inform strategies to prevent harm and improve equitable access to transplantation worldwide.

Ambagtsheer, F., de Jong, J., Brame, W.M., Weimar, W. 2016. On patients who purchase organ transplants abroad. American Journal of Transplantation, 16: 2800-2815.

Abstract:

The international transplant community portrays organ trade as a growing and serious crime involving large numbers of traveling patients who purchase organs. We present a systematic review about the published number of patients who purchased organs. With this information, we discuss whether the scientific literature reflects a substantial practice of organ purchase. Between 2000 and 2015, 86 studies were published. Seventy-six of these presented patients who traveled and 42 stated that the trans- plants were commercial. Only 11 studies reported that patients paid, and eight described to what or whom patients paid. In total, during a period of 42 years, 6002 patients have been reported to travel for transplantation. Of these, only 1238 were reported to have paid for their transplants. An additional unknown number of patients paid for their transplants in their native countries. We conclude that the scientific literature does not reflect a large number of patients buying organs. Organ purchases were more often assumed than determined. A reporting code for transplant professionals to report organ trafficking networks is a potential strategy to collect and quantify cases. 

Click here to read the complete article.

Guatemala - a pediatric transplant program

Development of pediatric transplantation in Guatemala

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