The high cost of organ transplant commercialism


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Gabriel M. Danovitch. David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Kidney Transplant Program, Los Angeles, California, USA

The Declaration of Istanbul defines organ transplant commercialism as ‘ya policy or practice in which an organ is treated as a commodity, including by being bought or sold or used for material gain.’ It is this treatment of the organ that inevitably leads to its financial value being placed before the welfare of either its donor or its recipient or others in need of organ transplantation. International experience over the past two decades has proven this point and outcomes of commercial donation for both organ donors and their recipients have been poor. Commercial organ donation also
comes at the expense of, not in addition to, unpaid, ‘altruistic’ donation. Other consequences of commercial donation are discussed in addition to a review of measures taken by the international community to put an end to the exploitation of vulnerable organ donors and the provision of ethically acceptable options for those in need of organ transplantation...

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