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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...


Illegal overseas organ transplants to be punished

The China PostThe China Post | June 10, 2015

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By Sun Hsin-hsuan 

Patients receiving illegal organ transplants overseas will be facing a maximum of five years in prison and a NT$300,000 fine if amendments to the Human Organ Transplantation Act pass the Legislative Yuan, which is likely to happen, according to legislators.

According to Po-chang Lee (李伯璋), chairman of Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center (TWRSC, 器官捐贈移植登錄中心), Taiwanese patients still participate in organ trading in mainland China, which permits organ trafficking. Lawmakers aim to curb this brutal act by making it a crime at home.

In May, amendments to the Human Organ Transplantation Act were proposed, introducing new aspects to the act. Firstly, those undertaking organ trades and transplants arranged overseas will face criminal punishment when patients return to the nation.

Secondly, regulations will make it illegal for organs from criminals sentenced to death to be used in patients.

According to Chen, the controversial issue lies within the diagnosis of brain death. Criminal law allows forensic scientists only 20 minutes in the execution chamber to determine brain death, Chen said.

Under such circumstances, criminals may be certified as brain dead prematurely and medical teams may consequently be removing organs from a living person. "Such cases have really happened," Chen said, adding that it is will be against the law to remove organs from an executed criminal. Moreover, many professional medical teams have refused to conduct such operations.

The third amendment is to mandate officials to enquire whether a person is willing to donate organs after death when reissuing driver's licenses, ID cards, or National Health Insurance cards...

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