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China's black market for organ donations

BBC newsBBC News | Aug 11, 2015
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By Martin Patience

It is the unimaginable decision that no mother should ever have to make: choosing which of her sons might live or die.

That was the choice Lian Ronghua, 51, faced earlier this year.

Both her sons were suffering from uraemia - a condition that leads to kidney failure. But only one of them could receive their mother's organ. Their father suffers from high blood pressure and could not donate.

In the family's small rented apartment, Ms Lian struggles to talk about that time.

"I don't know why both my sons are ill," she told me, tears streaming down her face.

In the end, the decision was taken for her. Her eldest son, Li Haiqing, 26, decided his 24-year-old younger brother, Haisong, should get their mother's transplant.

"I wanted to give my brother the kidney as he's younger and has a better chance of recovery," said Haiqing, who was forced to give up his medical studies because of his illness.

"Of course I hope I get a kidney before it's too late. But if I don't, I'll just need to keep on doing dialysis."

But his chances of getting a transplant are slim - China suffers from a huge organ shortage.

For years it harvested the organs of executed prisoners to help meet demand.

Following international condemnation, Beijing says it ended the practice at the start of this year - although officials admit it will be tough to ensure compliance.

Now the government says it will only rely on public donations...

Trading in body parts

the hinduThe Hindu | August 9, 2015

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By K. V. Aditya Bharadwaj

Illegal organ donation rackets are not uncommon in India. But the latest one unearthed in Karnataka last month has exposed how the trade has flourished unabated in a systematic manner and has direct connections with private hospitals and even the State Authorisation Committee, a body that is meant to weed out illegal organ transplants.

The epicentre of the racket is the unassuming dusty town of Magadi, 55 km from Bengaluru, and known to many people in Bangalore as only a pit stop on the way to Mysuru. In the illegal organ trade, Magadi seems to have become an organ market. Three rackets have been busted here in the last eight years and, shockingly, it is the same gang all three times. The touts were arrested each time and let off.

However, while earlier probes ended with the touts, the latest racket has for the first time led to the arrests of employees of a leading private hospital chain and members of the State Authorisation Committee for organ transplants...

State’s adoption of organ donation rules welcomed

Times of IndiaThe Times of India | August 6, 2015

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By Snehlata Shrivasta

NAGHPUR: Organ donation activists have stated the adoption of 'Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules 2014' (THOTR) of Central government by the state government has come at a very appropriate time, especially for Nagpur, where cadaver donation has picked up (12 in last two years) very well in past two years. It will hasten the process of declaration of brain death in a patient, retrieval of organs and transplanting it in the recipient.

Speaking to TOI on the eve of the National Organ Donation day on Thursday Dr Ravi Wankhede, in-charge of MOHAN foundation that works for promotion of organ donation in city and region, said the rules will now make the entire donation and transplantation process simpler...

A Kick in the Kidneys

American LawyerThe American Lawyer | July 27, 2015

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By Michael D. Goldhaber

It's been called "the most brazen case of Jersey-style corruption—ever." The "Jersey Sting" of 2009 netted five money-laundering rabbis, the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, and a former burlesque star named Hope Diamond who had become deputy mayor of Jersey City. But easily the most colorful figure was an ultra-Orthodox kibitzer and self-confessed schmearer named Levy Izhak Rosenbaum. For a decade Rosenbaum hawked Israeli kidneys with impunity at American medical establishments from Einstein Medical Center to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

As the first and only use of the National Organ Transplantation Act, Rosenbaum's prosecution and 2011 guilty plea drew attention to a shadowy trade that, according to the nonprofit Organs Watch, rips 10,000 kidneys each year from the bodies of the world's most desperate. Europe experienced a similar moment in 2013, when an EU court in Kosovo convicted five members of a kidney trafficking ring, and sentenced the clinic's medical director to eight years in prison. Organ trafficking came out of the shadows in Africa and Latin America in 2010, when the Netcare KwaZulu hospital group pleaded guilty to aiding the transplant of black market kidneys that mostly originated in Brazil...

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