• images/stories/news/press/201705/Khmer-Times-_-26-May-2017Khmer Times | 26 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Radio caller helps cops bust kidney traffickers

    Phnom Penh authorities on Wednesday arrested a man and a woman for running an illicit kidney trafficking syndicate. Deputy anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau chief Than Phanith said officials were made aware of the pair’s operation after a woman called a local radio station and spoke of the syndicate during a live broadcast.

  • The-Phnom-Penh-Post- -26-May-2017The Phnom Penh Post | 26 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Kong Meta and Erin Handley

    ‘Organ traffickers’ arrested

    Two people have been arrested in Cambodia for allegedly “trafficking organs” during a year-long operation involving at least 10 victims and frequent trips to India, officials said yesterday.

  • images/stories/news/press/201705/Declaration-of-Istanbul-_-May-21-2017Declaration of Istanbul | May 21, 2017
    [read the article]


    Dear DICG members,
    Dear friends,

    I am proud to inform you that my DICG co-chair, Dr Beatriz Dominguez-Gil, has been appointed General Director of the Spanish National Transplant Organization (ONT), following the retirement of Dr Rafael Matesanz, the renowned father of the Spanish Model and longstanding DICG supporter. Dr Dominguez-Gil will remain on the Executive Board of the DICG, but will step down as co-chair as she assumes her new duties. Following discussions during the recent meetings of the Executive Board and DICG Council held in Mexico in April, I am pleased to announce that Executive Board member Dr Dominique Martin will take up the position of co-chair...

  • Declaration-of-Istanbul-Custodian-Group- -14-May-2017Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group | 14 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Tonight we are also celebrating our two newly appointed honorary doctors - Margaret A. Liu and Francis L. Delmonico, who have each made their own significant contributions to the research and education conducted at Karolinska Institutet.

  • Redaccion-Medica- -12-May-2017Redacción Médica | 12 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, nueva directora general de la ONT

    Médico adjunta de la organización, es la persona designada por el Consejo de Ministros para suceder a Rafael Matesanz

  • YouTube- -8-May-2017YouTube | 8 May, 2017
    [watch the video]


    Kidney trade racket exposed in Pakistan

     

  • The-Express-Tribune- -8-May-2017The Express Tribune | 8 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Illegal organ transplants: Govt orders campaign against ‘heinous’ practice

    CM assures those involved in the crime will be given exemplary punishment.

     

  • images/stories/news/press/201705/Khmer-Times-_-26-May-2017Khmer Times | 26 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Radio caller helps cops bust kidney traffickers

    Phnom Penh authorities on Wednesday arrested a man and a woman for running an illicit kidney trafficking syndicate. Deputy anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau chief Than Phanith said officials were made aware of the pair’s operation after a woman called a local radio station and spoke of the syndicate during a live broadcast.

  • The-Phnom-Penh-Post- -26-May-2017The Phnom Penh Post | 26 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Kong Meta and Erin Handley

    ‘Organ traffickers’ arrested

    Two people have been arrested in Cambodia for allegedly “trafficking organs” during a year-long operation involving at least 10 victims and frequent trips to India, officials said yesterday.

  • images/stories/news/press/201705/Declaration-of-Istanbul-_-May-21-2017Declaration of Istanbul | May 21, 2017
    [read the article]


    Dear DICG members,
    Dear friends,

    I am proud to inform you that my DICG co-chair, Dr Beatriz Dominguez-Gil, has been appointed General Director of the Spanish National Transplant Organization (ONT), following the retirement of Dr Rafael Matesanz, the renowned father of the Spanish Model and longstanding DICG supporter. Dr Dominguez-Gil will remain on the Executive Board of the DICG, but will step down as co-chair as she assumes her new duties. Following discussions during the recent meetings of the Executive Board and DICG Council held in Mexico in April, I am pleased to announce that Executive Board member Dr Dominique Martin will take up the position of co-chair...

  • Declaration-of-Istanbul-Custodian-Group- -14-May-2017Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group | 14 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Tonight we are also celebrating our two newly appointed honorary doctors - Margaret A. Liu and Francis L. Delmonico, who have each made their own significant contributions to the research and education conducted at Karolinska Institutet.

  • Redaccion-Medica- -12-May-2017Redacción Médica | 12 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, nueva directora general de la ONT

    Médico adjunta de la organización, es la persona designada por el Consejo de Ministros para suceder a Rafael Matesanz

  • YouTube- -8-May-2017YouTube | 8 May, 2017
    [watch the video]


    Kidney trade racket exposed in Pakistan

     

  • The-Express-Tribune- -8-May-2017The Express Tribune | 8 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Illegal organ transplants: Govt orders campaign against ‘heinous’ practice

    CM assures those involved in the crime will be given exemplary punishment.

     

  • Pakistan-Today- -6-May-2017Pakistan Today | 6 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Rana Haider

    Illegal organ trafficking thrives in the province

    The police, despite claiming to have eliminated organ transplant from the province, were unaware of various incidents of organ trafficking that has been taking place in the province for the last seven years. In the stated time, transplant surgeries were carried out on over 214 patients, 15 of whom expired during the procedure.

     

  • BBC-News- -5-May-2017BBC News | 5 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    Undercover video of human organ traders

    The World Health Organisation says that more than 10,000 human organs are being sold illegally every year.

  • Egypt-Independent- -4-May-2017Egypt Independent | 4 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Ola Noureldin

    Parliament committee approves harsher penalties in Organ Transplant Law

    The Parliament’s Legislative Committee approved on Wednesday amendments to Egypt’s Organ Transplant Law which stipulate drafting harsher penalties into the law regulating organ transplantation in Egypt.

  • Dunya-News- -2-May-2017Dunya News | 2 May, 2017
    [read the article]


    214 people fell victim to organ trafficking in seven years in Punjab: report

    Initial report into the matter has been forwarded to the interior ministry, said FIA spokesman.

The Risk of Discrimination and Stigmatization in Organ Transplantation and Trafficking

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 5.36.37 pmAlireza Bagheri. 2015. "The Risk of Discrimination and Stigmatization in Organ Transplantation and Trafficking" In Bagheri, A., Moreno, J., Semplici, S. (Ed.s). Global Bioethics: The Impact of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee. Springer.

The global shortage of organs for transplantation has led to unethical practices in organ transplantation, such as organ commercialism and trafficking. Concerns have been raised about unjust and discriminatory allocation of the available organs in organ transplant programs as well as exploitation and stigmatization of individuals who provide their organs through organ trafficking and tourism. There have been global efforts to describe unethical practices in organ transplantation and in tackling organ commercialism and trafficking, international documents have justified their arguments mostly based on the exploitation inherent in organ sales and trafficking. Missing in the discussion of organ transplantation and trafficking are the perspectives of vulnerable patients as organ recipients and poor people as organ providers, and the discrimination and stigmatization they experience.
This chapter elaborates the risk of discrimination and stigmatization in organ transplantation and trafficking, and reviews current global efforts against unethical practice in organ transplantation, including the recent UNESCO report on non-discrimination and non-stigmatization. It calls all stakeholders to ensure that in the process of organ transplantation, organ donors and recipients are not subject to discrimination and stigmatization.

Incentives, kidney donation, and the myth of the Iranian waiting list

In a recent New York Times article, Tina Rosenberg argues that the United States should introduce financial incentives for living kidney donors. She writes, “In 2014, there were 17,106 kidney transplants in the United States, but more than twice that many people went on the waiting list.”

She believes that use of incentives could resolve this problem because the legal Iranian market for organs has “essentially eliminated” the waiting list for a kidney.

Such claims about the Iranian waiting list, which are commonly invoked in support of kidney markets in the United States and elsewhere, are simply false. People with end stage kidney failure living in the United States are more likely to receive a transplant than those living in Iran. Commentators debating the issue of incentives for donation have a responsibility to draw on the best available evidence in their arguments, and should not simply recycle and perpetuate myths about the success of the Iranian market.

What counts as proof that a waiting list has been eliminated?

The alleged success of the Iranian kidney market is regularly cited in public commentary and academic debate by advocates of financial incentives. References in scholarly publications can usually be traced back to a 2002 publication by Iranian nephrologist Ghods in which he declared that, “the renal transplant waiting list [in Iran] was eliminated by the end of 1999.”

What does it mean to “eliminate” a waiting list for transplantation? In many countries people in need of a kidney transplant may be unable to join a national waiting list for transplantation because

  • They cannot access healthcare services necessary for diagnosis of kidney failure, or required to prepare them for transplantation such as dialysis;
  • They cannot afford transplantation services or immunosuppression;
  • They do not meet eligibility criteria for the waiting list, where criteria such as age or comorbidities are designed to keep the list sufficiently short to match the supply of organs available for transplant;
  • There is no national waiting list for transplantation.

In a 2006 publication by Ghods and Savaj which is also cited as evidence that incentives have solved the problem of organ shortages in Iran, the authors again claim that “by 1999, the renal transplant waiting lists in the country was eliminated successfully”. In this paper, they offer an explanation which shows that the size of the waiting list in Iran is influenced by lower rates of diagnosis of end stage kidney disease:

In Iran, as in other developing countries, the prevalence of patients with ESRD is markedly lower compared with the prevalence of patients who are on renal replacement therapy in developed countries. A major cause of this is the many patients who are from villages and small towns and do not receive a diagnosis and are not referred for dialysis therapy. There also is no adopted restricting policy for accepting patients with ESRD for renal transplantation; however, the low prevalence of patients with ESRD results in fewer numbers of transplant candidates. This is the main reason that the renal transplant waiting list was eliminated quickly and successfully in Iran….”

Ghods, A. J., & Savaj, S. (2006). Iranian model of paid and regulated living-unrelated kidney donation. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 1(6), 1136-1145. (p.1139)

The truth about the Iranian waiting list

Claims about the successful elimination of the Iranian waiting list in the early 2000s were questioned by commentators such as Griffin. However, incentive advocates have preferred to express ethical concerns about some elements of the Iranian model, arguing that better regulated incentive systems will address these, rather than to question the success of the model.

Commentators writing today ought to draw on more recent analysis of the Iranian market. A recent report by Iranian experts clearly shows that there is indeed a waiting list for kidney transplantation in Iran:

Rouchi, A. H., Ghaemi, F., & Aghighi, M. (2014). Outlook of Organ Transplantation in Iran. Iranian journal of kidney diseases, 8(3).

In this paper, the authors provide the following table summarising the disparity between the number of transplants and the number of patients waitlisted for transplantation in 2011:

Iran Waiting list

The authors note that, “the never-disappearing waiting list for kidney transplantation will be growing steadily”.

UNODC publishes toolkit for assessment of trafficking in persons for organ removal

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 5.11.07 pmThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has published a toolkit for use in the assessment of trafficking in persons for organ removal.

"The toolkit aims to provide both a general overview of trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal and specific tools to assist concerned actors with assessing the phenomenon. The structure of the toolkit reflects this two-pronged approach in that its first part seeks to inform about the context in which trafficking in persons for organ removal can take place, the relevant legislative framework and international guidance, actors and modi operandi as well as good practice responses. The second part has very specific questionnaires that aim to allow for a better understanding of and a more systematic collection of data on the crime."

You can download the Assessment Toolkit here courtesy of UNODC.

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