• Update V1 White

    Participate in the DICG public consultation concerning the Declaration of Istanbul (2018 Edition)


    To view the draft DoI (2018 Edition) and provide your feedback via our survey, please click here.


    To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of Istanbul (DoI), a working group of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) has prepared a draft update to the Declaration. The revisions made in this 2018 Edition are intended to ensure that the DoI remains a valuable source of ethical guidance for health professionals and policy makers during the next decade in the face of persisting and emerging challenges in organ trafficking and transplant tourism around the world. To achieve this goal, we need your help.

    Please share your time and expertise with us, and provide feedback on our draft documents here.

  • Israeli organ-smuggling mastermind arrested in Cyprus [read the article]


    By AFP

    Israeli organ-smuggling ‘mastermind’ arrested in Cyprus

    PRISTINA, Kosovo — The Israeli ringleader of a global gang of organ traffickers has been arrested in Cyprus, Kosovan police said on Saturday.

    Moshe Harel is suspected of organizing dozens of illegal kidney transplants at the Medicus clinic in the capital Pristina in 2008, and is the man being held, according to local media...

  • Indias laws on organ transplants do little to protect rights of organ donors [read the article]

    [read the Vidhi Report]


    By Menaka Rao

    The legal framework needs to ensure that the donor gives informed consent as well as legal and medical aid for donors.

    In August 2016, Surat resident Brijkishore Jaiswal needed a kidney transplant and was all set to receive one from Shobha Thakur, a 42-year-old domestic worker from rural Gujarat. But in order to get the kidney, Jaiswal tried to pass Thakur off as his wife and said that she was donating the organ altruistically. Jaiswal was paying Thakur for her kidney and thus breaking the law, which bans commercial organ donation...

  • What are red marketsInternational Business Times | 09 December 2017
    [read the article]


    By Lara Rebello

    ‘What are red markets? World's major organ trafficking countries bank on poverty and desperation

    A recent investigative piece into the conditions of African migrants stuck in Libya raised the curtain on the underground slave trade rings in the country and triggered international calls for investigations into the matter. It also shed light on the organ market that has been burgeoning alongside — banking on the bodies of financially desperate migrants. The migrant crisis in Africa as well as other parts of the world has offered organ traffickers a steady flow of donors — willing or unwilling — to sever ties with their kidneys, livers and other body parts....

  • DICG Statement on GKEP

    Statement of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group concerning ethical objections to the proposed Global Kidney Exchange Program


    To download a copy of the statement, please click here.

     


    In accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Istanbul and the Guiding Principles of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) is committed not only to discouraging practices and policies that directly or indirectly contribute to organ trafficking and transplant tourism but also to supporting the development and strengthening of equitable programs of donation and transplantation around the world....

  • How Indians were trafficked for organs in EgyptThe Indian Times | 23 November 2017
    [read the article]


    By Sumitra Debroy

    ‘Donate your kidney or face jail in Cairo’

    Yaseer Ahmed Basha (29) father to a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter, is unaware that he too is now an accused in the international kidney racket for selling his left kidney to Malad resident Pankaj Rao. He maintained that he was threatened and tricked into giving his kidney after he went to Cairo in July with the promise of driving an Uber cab. "It was 99% deception, but 1% my greed for money." He now makes a living driving an autorickshaw to support his parents there and his family in Taloja...

  • Some U.S. Hospitals Dont Put Americans First for Liver TransplantsProPublica and Fox 8 WVUE New Orleans| 20 November 2017
    [read the article]


    By Charles Ornstein and Lee Zurik

    Some U.S. Hospitals Don’t Put Americans First for Liver Transplants

    At a time when there aren’t enough livers for ailing Americans, wealthy foreigners fly here for transplants.

    Dr. Gabriel M. Danovitch, Honoury member of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group, talks about national self sufficiency in organ donation.

    Also see Fox 8 News video on this co-published story...

  • Update V1 White

    Participate in the DICG public consultation concerning the Declaration of Istanbul (2018 Edition)


    To view the draft DoI (2018 Edition) and provide your feedback via our survey, please click here.


    To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of Istanbul (DoI), a working group of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) has prepared a draft update to the Declaration. The revisions made in this 2018 Edition are intended to ensure that the DoI remains a valuable source of ethical guidance for health professionals and policy makers during the next decade in the face of persisting and emerging challenges in organ trafficking and transplant tourism around the world. To achieve this goal, we need your help.

    Please share your time and expertise with us, and provide feedback on our draft documents here.

  • Israeli organ-smuggling mastermind arrested in Cyprus [read the article]


    By AFP

    Israeli organ-smuggling ‘mastermind’ arrested in Cyprus

    PRISTINA, Kosovo — The Israeli ringleader of a global gang of organ traffickers has been arrested in Cyprus, Kosovan police said on Saturday.

    Moshe Harel is suspected of organizing dozens of illegal kidney transplants at the Medicus clinic in the capital Pristina in 2008, and is the man being held, according to local media...

  • Indias laws on organ transplants do little to protect rights of organ donors [read the article]

    [read the Vidhi Report]


    By Menaka Rao

    The legal framework needs to ensure that the donor gives informed consent as well as legal and medical aid for donors.

    In August 2016, Surat resident Brijkishore Jaiswal needed a kidney transplant and was all set to receive one from Shobha Thakur, a 42-year-old domestic worker from rural Gujarat. But in order to get the kidney, Jaiswal tried to pass Thakur off as his wife and said that she was donating the organ altruistically. Jaiswal was paying Thakur for her kidney and thus breaking the law, which bans commercial organ donation...

  • What are red marketsInternational Business Times | 09 December 2017
    [read the article]


    By Lara Rebello

    ‘What are red markets? World's major organ trafficking countries bank on poverty and desperation

    A recent investigative piece into the conditions of African migrants stuck in Libya raised the curtain on the underground slave trade rings in the country and triggered international calls for investigations into the matter. It also shed light on the organ market that has been burgeoning alongside — banking on the bodies of financially desperate migrants. The migrant crisis in Africa as well as other parts of the world has offered organ traffickers a steady flow of donors — willing or unwilling — to sever ties with their kidneys, livers and other body parts....

  • DICG Statement on GKEP

    Statement of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group concerning ethical objections to the proposed Global Kidney Exchange Program


    To download a copy of the statement, please click here.

     


    In accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Istanbul and the Guiding Principles of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) is committed not only to discouraging practices and policies that directly or indirectly contribute to organ trafficking and transplant tourism but also to supporting the development and strengthening of equitable programs of donation and transplantation around the world....

  • How Indians were trafficked for organs in EgyptThe Indian Times | 23 November 2017
    [read the article]


    By Sumitra Debroy

    ‘Donate your kidney or face jail in Cairo’

    Yaseer Ahmed Basha (29) father to a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter, is unaware that he too is now an accused in the international kidney racket for selling his left kidney to Malad resident Pankaj Rao. He maintained that he was threatened and tricked into giving his kidney after he went to Cairo in July with the promise of driving an Uber cab. "It was 99% deception, but 1% my greed for money." He now makes a living driving an autorickshaw to support his parents there and his family in Taloja...

  • Some U.S. Hospitals Dont Put Americans First for Liver TransplantsProPublica and Fox 8 WVUE New Orleans| 20 November 2017
    [read the article]


    By Charles Ornstein and Lee Zurik

    Some U.S. Hospitals Don’t Put Americans First for Liver Transplants

    At a time when there aren’t enough livers for ailing Americans, wealthy foreigners fly here for transplants.

    Dr. Gabriel M. Danovitch, Honoury member of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group, talks about national self sufficiency in organ donation.

    Also see Fox 8 News video on this co-published story...

  • Delhi govt suspends Apollo Hospitals kidney transplantation licenceHindustan Times | 17 November 2017
    [read the article]


    By HT Correspondent

    Delhi govt suspends Apollo Hospital’s kidney transplantation licence

    The Delhi government has ordered the suspension of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals’ licence for kidney transplants till January 5 after police busted a kidney racket involving secretarial staff of doctors working at the hospital last year.

    During the suspension period, the hospital cannot register new kidney transplant patients, but close to 40 patients who have been cleared by the committee for transplantation will continue with their treatment...

  • Bonds of lifeThe Japan News | 27 October 2017
    [read the article]


    By The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Bonds of life — the Organ Transplant Law 20 years on

    The Yomiuri Shimbun writes in a five part installment on the Organ Transplant Law in Japan and the 20 years after it came in practice.

    The article link focus on desperate recipients who has traveled to other countries for transplantation, but for a fuller understanding of the situation in Japan, read all five.

  • Should you be allowed to sell your kidneyGizmodo Media Group | 09 October 2017
    [read the article]


    By Whitney Kimball

    Should You Be Allowed to Sell Your Kidney?

    Giz Asks, talked to bioethicists, disagreeing doctors and the World Health Organization about their opinions...

Assessing the likely harms to kidney vendors in regulated organ markets

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.46.57 am


2014; 14(10): 7-18

Julian Koplin

Advocates of paid living kidney donation frequently argue that kidney sellers would benefit from paid donation under a properly regulated kidney market. The poor outcomes experienced by participants in existing markets are often entirely attributed to harmful black-market practices. This article reviews the medical and anthropological literature on the physical, psychological, social, and financial harms experienced by vendors under Iran's regulated system of donor compensation and black markets throughout the world and argues that this body of research not only documents significant harms to vendors, but also provides reasons to believe that such harms would persist under a regulated system. This does not settle the question of whether or not a regulated market should be introduced, but it does strengthen the case against markets in kidneys while suggesting that those advocating such a system cannot appeal to the purported benefits to vendors to support their case.

Click here to read the full article at The American Journal of Bioethics (subscription required).

Please visit the Ethical analysis and debate page on this website to see commentaries on this paper written or recommended by members of the DICG.

To Achieve National Self-Sufficiency: Recent Progresses in Deceased Donation in Korea

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.30.35 am


Sang-il Min, Curie Ahn, Duck Jong Han, Soon Il Kim, Sang Young Chung, Suk Koo Lee,
Sung Joo Kim, Oh Jung Kwon, Hong Rae Cho, Shin Hwang, Myoung Soo Kim,
Chul Woo Yang, Jongwon Ha, and Won Hyun Cho

Background. The disparity between patients awaiting transplantation and available organs has widened, and resultant organ shortage became a world crisis. The transplantation community has made considerable progress in national organ donation system in Korea, and significant growth in the number of deceased donors has been witnessed.
Methods. After introduction of the Organ Transplant Act, which was enacted in 2000, transparency was established in organ allocation system in Korea. However, the number of deceased donor dwindled significantly from 162 in 1999 to 36 in 2002. To improve deceased donation, several strategies were pursued, and finally new national organ donation system was established through the amendment of the Organ Transplant Act.
Results. Organ incentive system, which was introduced in 2003, failed to increase the number of deceased donors (68 in 2003, 86 in 2004, and 91 in 2005). Monetary incentive to the bereaved family was introduced in 2006 and slightly increased the number of deceased donor (141 in 2006). However, this effect was not long-lasting (148 in 2007). After enforcement of the new Organ Transplant Act, which included nationwide independent organ procurement organization and mandatory report of potential brain death, the number of deceased donors significantly increased, reaching 368 in 2011. The growth continued and the number of deceased donors reached 409 (8.03 pmp) in 2012.
Conclusion. There has been a significant growth in the number of deceased donors in Korea since the appropriate deceased organ donation system was launched. A comprehensive national program is required to improve deceased donation and achieve self-sufficiency.

Read the full article published ahead of print here (subscription required).

Towards achieving national self-sufficiency in organ donation in India - A call to action

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 4.24.44 pm


V. Jha

Every description of advances in organ transplantation starts by extolling the virtues of surgical technique and medical management of recipients. Indeed the success of modern day transplantation owes a lot to these progresses. However, underpinning all organ transplants is that act of supreme human charity - willingness to donate an organ - either of oneself, or that of a loved one (in the case of deceased donors) even in the face of tragedy.

All transplant professionals and patients with end-stage organ failure are painfully aware that availability of organs is a major limitation in current day practice of transplantation. This shortage has led to suggestions of ways of overcoming this barrier: use of organs from donors after cardiac death, marginal donors, transplantation across ABO barrier, swap and domino transplants, etc. All of these all have met with broad approval and were being practiced increasingly - albeit with varying success - in different parts of the world.

The one suggested solution that has created deep divisions among transplant professionals, ethicists, social scientists, law-makers and even the general public, is the suggestion of incentivizing organ donation. [1] Altruism, consistent with respect for fundamental human rights - in particular that of human dignity - has been the bedrock of organ donation, and the overwhelming consensus so far has been that any kind of payment or reward for organ donation is contrary to the human values, and hence banned throughout the world - with the notable exception of Iran. [2]

Professional societies, transnational organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global groups have strongly opposed incentives for organ donation, at the same time supporting removal of any disincentive such as loss of wages, medical bills, medical insurance, travel expenses etc., related to the act of donation. [3],[4],[5],[6],[7] These voices include WHO Guiding Principles and the Declaration of Istanbul, which provide guidance on how to remove such disincentives. The Indian Society of Nephrology and the Indian Society of Organ Transplantation have endorsed the Declaration of Istanbul, and many countries have enacted laws in accordance with these principles...

Read the full article from the Indian Journal of Nephrology here.

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