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Recent activities of the DICG

Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences meeting on human trafficking and organized crime


 June, 2016

DICG Senior Advisor Francis Delmonico, who was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences earlier this year, participated in a two day conference at the Vatican. Organized by the Academy, this was a Judges' Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime. The Summit resulted in a declaration which endorses ten goals. Goal number seven is as follows: "Organ trafficking, as defined and condemned in The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism (2008), must be recognized as a crime in all countries and be effectively legally prosecuted at the national and international level. As well as being illegal, this activity must also be recognized as prevalent among international criminal organizations." 

To read the declaration, please click here.

Vatican summit



DICG workshop held in Madrid, Spain


4-5 April, 2016

A two day workshop was organized by the DICG and held in Madrid, Spain, with the support of The Transplantation Society and the International Society  Nephrology. Participants in the workshop included DICG Council members and international experts in ethics, law, law enforcement, and health policy. Participants discussed issues related to the management of patients considering travel abroad for transplantation and of patients that have returned after obtaining a transplant in a foreign country. In collaboration with participants, members of the workshop steering committee are now developing publications that will report on these discussions and provide insights and guidance for professionals and policy makers addressing these issues at the national, regional, or international level.

DICG workshop madrid


DICG visit to Nicaragua

26 June, 2015

Dr Francis Delmonico (DICG Executive Director), Dr Alejandro Niño-Murcia (DICG member and representing RCIDT) and Dr Rudolf García-Gallont (DICG Exec. Comm. member and representing RCIDT) traveled to Managua to meet with fellow DICG member Dr Alexis Lopez García, from the children's hospital "La Mascota", to discuss ongoing development of organ donation and transplantation policy and programs in Nicaragua.

During their visit, they met with representatives from the Pan American Health Association (PAHO) including PAHO WHO representative Dr Socorro Gross, and from the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health including Secretary General of the Ministry Dr. Enrique Beteta Acevedo.




2nd Forum on organ and tissue donation in Colombia: charting a new path


25 June, 2015

Along with Colombian transplant leader and DICG member Dr Alejandro Niño Murcia, DICG Executive Director Dr Francis L. Delmonico and Executive Committee member Dr Rudolf Garcia-Gallont participated in the 2nd forum on organ and tissue donation in  Colombia which was organized by ACTO (Asociación Colombiana de Trasplante de Órganos) and hosted by the largest newspaper of Colombia, Diario el Tiempo in Bogotá.

Read more about the forum here (article in Spanish).


Webinar on the Global Organ Market at Babson College


17 June, 2015

DICG Executive Director Dr Francis L. Delmonico and Executive Committee member Dr Rudolf García-Gallont participated in the webinar "The price of life: responding to the global back market in illicit organs", organized by Babson College and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.

DICG member Dr Debra Budiani-Saberi was also a participant.

The Webinar included a series of timely and interesting presentations from a multidisciplinary group of speakers that offered diverse experience in the field. In particular, many new aspects of activities involved in organ trafficking and transplant tourism resulting from increased use of modern communication platforms were brought to attention.

To read more about the key points of the webinar, please click here.


Workshop on organ harvesting in China at the European Parliament

21 April, 2015

Members of the DICG participated in a workshop on organ harvesting in China held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

Dr Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, medical adviser to the Organización Nacional de Trasplantes, Spain, and  Co-Chair of the DICG Council, spoke about the Declaration of Istanbul and listed recommended actions for the European Union (EU) to combat transplant-related crimes. She called for all EU member states to accede to the recent Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs and to further progress in pursuing self-sufficiency in transplantation.

Dr Marta López-Fraga, Secretary to the European Committee on Organ Transplantation at the Council of Europe, and member of the DICG, provided a legal perspective on trafficking in human organs and human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal.

The Executive Director of the DICG, Dr Francis L. Delmonico, gave a report on current policy on organ donation and transplantation in China.

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A letter to the Governor of Utah

April, 2015

The DICG Executive has written to the Governor of the State of Utah in the United States to express concern regarding recent media reports discussing the possibility of organ procurement from executed prisoners, following the Governor's recent decision to permit execution by firing squad.

You can read more about ethical concerns raised by organ procurement from executed prisoners here, or read the letter sent to the Governor here.




Pope Francis meets with DICG representatives

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(From L-R: Dr Mirela Busic, Professor Mehmet Haberal, Professor Ignazio Marino, Dr Beatriz Dominguez-Gil, Professor Francis L. Delmonico, Pope Francis.)

September 19, 2014

Vatican City - Representatives of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) met with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican on Friday.

The DICG delegation included Executive Director Professor Francis Delmonico, executive board member Dr Beatriz Dominguez-Gil, Dr Mirela Busic and Professor Mehmet Haberal, who supports the DICG through the Haberal Foundation. Professor Ignazio Marino, the Mayor of Rome, arranged the meeting at the request of the DICG.

A review of the global state of affairs in organ donation and transplantation was presented to the Pope, and the ongoing challenges of meeting needs for transplantation and preventing organ trafficking were discussed. DICG members expressed concern about recent proposals to introduce financial incentives for organ donation in the United States, particularly with regards to the potential influence of such proposals on policy and practice in developing countries most vulnerable to organ trafficking.

The importance of legal measures combatting organ trafficking, such as the recent Council of Europe Convention, was noted. The DICG also reported on recent successful progress in donation and transplantation in countries and regions such as Spain, Croatia, and Eastern Europe, and the importance of eliminating barriers to organ donation, for example through measures to remove or reimburse costs associated with living kidney donation.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Pope Francis expressed his conviction that "organ trafficking and commercialization are immoral".

A formal report reviewing the issues of organ trafficking and commercialism will be submitted by the DICG to the Pope for his consideration

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