• 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...

Statement of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group Regarding Payments to Families of Deceased Organ Donors.

 

Transplantation Journal

AM Capron, FL Delmonico, B Domínguez-Gil, D Martin, GM Danovitch, and JR Chapman

2016; Epub June 28

Abstract:

Governmental and private programs that pay next of kin who give permission for the removal of their deceased relative's organs for transplantation exist in a number of countries. Such payments, which may be given to the relatives or paid directly for funeral expenses or hospital bills unrelated to being a donor, aim to increase the rate of donation. The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group-in alignment with the World Health Organization Guiding Principles and the Council of Europe Convention Against Trafficking in Human Organs-has adopted a new policy statement opposing such practices.

Payment programs are unwise because they produce a lower rate of donations than in countries with voluntary, unpaid programs; associate deceased donation with being poor and marginal in society; undermine public trust in the determination of death; and raise doubts about fair allocation of organs. Most important, allowing families to receive money for donation from a deceased person, who is at no risk of harm, will make it impossible to sustain prohibitions on paying living donors, who are at risk.

Payment programs are also unethical. Tying coverage for funeral expenses or healthcare costs to a family allowing organs to be procured is exploitative, not "charitable." Using payment to overcome reluctance to donate based on cultural or religious beliefs especially offends principles of liberty and dignity. Finally, while it is appropriate to make donation "financially neutral"-by reimbursing the added medical costs of evaluating and maintaining a patient as a potential donor-such reimbursement may never be conditioned on a family agreeing to donate.

To read and download this open access article, please click here.

 

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).

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