• EgyptToday 16 AugEgypt Today | 16 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Egypt Today Staff

    Details of investigation into organ trafficking ring

    In investigation records with the International Human Trafficking Network allegedly obtained, it was revealed that the financial need of the ‘donors’ was exploited and their kidneys transferred to paying foreign recipients. Video evidence and recordings reportedly show the involvement of three hospitals in the trafficking ring: Dar Al-Shefa, Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Nada center for addiction treatment, which is not authorized to perform these operations. Video footage of the surgeries themselves was also allegedly found...

  • Baghdad Post 10 AugThe Baghdad Post | 10 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    18 foreign women arrested in Baghdad over organ trafficking

    Baghdad Operations Command announced on Thursday that 18 foreign women were arrested in Baghdad on charges of organ trafficking. A force of the 54th Brigade in the army in cooperation with Organized Crime Directorate succeeded to arrest the gang in al-Yarmouk district. The trafficking of kidneys and other organs is a phenomenon in Baghdad, Insiders said, noting that gangs offering up to $10,000 (£7,000) for a kidney.

  • Ohram OnlineAhram Online | 20 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Ahram Online Staff

    Egyptian health ministry denies reports of widespread organ trafficking in Egypt

    Egypt's Ministry of Health denied on Sunday that Egypt is a hot spot for illegal organ trafficking as portrayed in a short German investigative documentary about organ trafficking in the country, MENA news agency reported. According to the health ministry, the short documentary was recorded outside the ministry's hospitals and did not prove that there is "ongoing trade" inside Egyptian hospitals...

  • Tribune 05 AugThe Express Tribune | 05 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Tribune Correspondent

    Australian expert calls for adoption of ethical transplant practices in Pakistan

    The International Transplantation Society has called for holding an international conference to chalk out a strategy to create an ethical transplantation programme that can be successful at the global level. Professor Jeremy Chapman, a renal physician visiting from Australia who is also the editor-in-chief of the Transplantation Journal, made this call at a workshop organised on Friday by the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). The workshop aimed to discuss various issues concerning renal transplantation...

  • Eygpt law changeEgypt Today | 24 June, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Egypt Today Staff

    Gross penalties for human organ trafficking in new law

    The recently amended law on human organ transplant includes severe penalties for human organ trafficking and for violating the rules and provisions on organ transplant and transfer. The House of Representatives approved a proposed law submitted by the government to amend some provisions of Law No. 5 of 2010 on organ transplant on 12 June, 2017...

  • Bangladesh More family MembersThe Daily Star | 18 June, 2017
    [read the article]


    By The Daily Star Staff Correspondent

    More family members can donate organs says draft law on transplant

    The cabinet approved a draft law expanding the list of relatives who could donate organs to a person. The draft also mentions stricter rules to check organ trafficking and trade. Once the law is enforced, grandparents, grandchildren, and first cousins would be able to donate organs. The existing law allows only parents, spouses, children, siblings and blood-related aunts and uncles to donate...

  • Inquiry-into-Human-Organ-Trafficking-and-Organ-Transplant-TourismThe Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Parliament
    [link to contribute]


     

    Help Australia take action against organ trafficking

    The Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has commenced an inquiry into international human organ trafficking. The inquiry will examine how the Australian legal system deters organ trafficking and what more can be done to prevent this offence from occurring both in Australia and internationally.

    Contribute to parliamentary inquiry by making a submission and encourage others to do so. Follow link to contribute...

  • EgyptToday 16 AugEgypt Today | 16 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Egypt Today Staff

    Details of investigation into organ trafficking ring

    In investigation records with the International Human Trafficking Network allegedly obtained, it was revealed that the financial need of the ‘donors’ was exploited and their kidneys transferred to paying foreign recipients. Video evidence and recordings reportedly show the involvement of three hospitals in the trafficking ring: Dar Al-Shefa, Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Nada center for addiction treatment, which is not authorized to perform these operations. Video footage of the surgeries themselves was also allegedly found...

  • Baghdad Post 10 AugThe Baghdad Post | 10 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    18 foreign women arrested in Baghdad over organ trafficking

    Baghdad Operations Command announced on Thursday that 18 foreign women were arrested in Baghdad on charges of organ trafficking. A force of the 54th Brigade in the army in cooperation with Organized Crime Directorate succeeded to arrest the gang in al-Yarmouk district. The trafficking of kidneys and other organs is a phenomenon in Baghdad, Insiders said, noting that gangs offering up to $10,000 (£7,000) for a kidney.

  • Ohram OnlineAhram Online | 20 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Ahram Online Staff

    Egyptian health ministry denies reports of widespread organ trafficking in Egypt

    Egypt's Ministry of Health denied on Sunday that Egypt is a hot spot for illegal organ trafficking as portrayed in a short German investigative documentary about organ trafficking in the country, MENA news agency reported. According to the health ministry, the short documentary was recorded outside the ministry's hospitals and did not prove that there is "ongoing trade" inside Egyptian hospitals...

  • Tribune 05 AugThe Express Tribune | 05 August, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Tribune Correspondent

    Australian expert calls for adoption of ethical transplant practices in Pakistan

    The International Transplantation Society has called for holding an international conference to chalk out a strategy to create an ethical transplantation programme that can be successful at the global level. Professor Jeremy Chapman, a renal physician visiting from Australia who is also the editor-in-chief of the Transplantation Journal, made this call at a workshop organised on Friday by the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). The workshop aimed to discuss various issues concerning renal transplantation...

  • Eygpt law changeEgypt Today | 24 June, 2017
    [read the article]


    By Egypt Today Staff

    Gross penalties for human organ trafficking in new law

    The recently amended law on human organ transplant includes severe penalties for human organ trafficking and for violating the rules and provisions on organ transplant and transfer. The House of Representatives approved a proposed law submitted by the government to amend some provisions of Law No. 5 of 2010 on organ transplant on 12 June, 2017...

  • Bangladesh More family MembersThe Daily Star | 18 June, 2017
    [read the article]


    By The Daily Star Staff Correspondent

    More family members can donate organs says draft law on transplant

    The cabinet approved a draft law expanding the list of relatives who could donate organs to a person. The draft also mentions stricter rules to check organ trafficking and trade. Once the law is enforced, grandparents, grandchildren, and first cousins would be able to donate organs. The existing law allows only parents, spouses, children, siblings and blood-related aunts and uncles to donate...

  • Inquiry-into-Human-Organ-Trafficking-and-Organ-Transplant-TourismThe Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Parliament
    [link to contribute]


     

    Help Australia take action against organ trafficking

    The Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has commenced an inquiry into international human organ trafficking. The inquiry will examine how the Australian legal system deters organ trafficking and what more can be done to prevent this offence from occurring both in Australia and internationally.

    Contribute to parliamentary inquiry by making a submission and encourage others to do so. Follow link to contribute...

  • Media27July2017IISD | 27 June, 2017
    [read the article]

    By Ana Maria Lebada

    Governments, Stakeholders Advise Leveraging SDGs to Combat Human Trafficking

    Multi-stakeholder participants gathered for a one-day informal interactive hearing convened by the UNGA President in preparation for a High-Level Meeting on the Appraisal of 2010’s UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

    Many participants noted that three of the SDGs (5.2, 8.7 and 16.2) address human trafficking, and outlined the need to consider this issue in a multidisciplinary and comprehensive way...

  • News3FirstPost | 27 June, 2017
    [read the article]


    Watch: Wealth and Poverty keep Pakistan's Illegal Organ Trafficking Trade alive

    In Lahore, doctors have been conducting an illegal organ trafficking trade, supported by the unwillingness of the rich and desperation of the poor...

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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