Policy on Meeting Content for Use by Organizations that Have Endorsed The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism
The following recommendations are based on practical experience obtained during the preparation of the academic content of meetings sponsored or supported by The Transplantation Society. These recommendations do not intend to prevent academic examination of controversial issues in organ transplantation. Rather, they aim simply aim to ensure that the organizations that have endorsed the Declaration of Istanbul do not confer academic prestige or professional acceptance on individuals or groups whose actual practices undermine the objectives of the Declaration of Istanbul or involve the use of organs or tissues from executed prisoners. The denial of approval to such individuals and groups seeks particularly to promote ethical and effective organ transplant practices in countries that are struggling to overcome organ trafficking and transplant tourism.
- All abstract submission forms should include a statement to the effect that: "The authors attest that (a) all data (clinical findings, description of clinical material, etc.) were derived from research and clinical activities carried out in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Istanbul and (b) executed prisoners were not the source of organs or tissues in any of the activities reported."
- Abstract reviewers should be instructed to pay particular attention to submissions from countries designated by the World Health Organization as organ trafficking "hotspots."
- Abstracts that raise concern should be "tagged" and reviewed by the meeting's program planners. The authors of tagged abstracts should be notified of the questions raised concerning their submissions and should be asked to respond to the questions and to confirm that the activities reported were carried out consistently with the Declaration of Istanbul. Should the response received from the authors be unsatisfactory (or absent), the abstract should be rejected.
- The restrictions applicable to authors of abstracts should also be applied to invited speakers. The simplest means of conveying the expectation that such speakers will not present data from activities that are inconsistent with the principles of the Declaration of Istanbul is to ask each speaker to include the statement in Point 1 in his or her acceptance letter. Further, program planners should not invite any person known to have engaged in activities that are inconsistent with the Principles of the Declaration of Istanbul or that rely on organs or tissues from executed prisoners to address the meeting (other than to participate in a discussion of the merits of the Declaration or a comparable issue) unless such person has provided credible assurance that he or she no longer engages in such activities.