Surgeons in audience with the Pope launch SOS against organ trafficking

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


La Stampa | September 21, 2014

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English translation courtesy of the DICG, click on the link above to access the original article in Italian.


"The Holy Father received in audience Professor Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, with surgeons attending a congress on organ trafficking," the Vatican Press Office declared in a statement.

According to news agency ANSA, "the mayor Ignazio Marino, himself a former surgeon, did the honours of the house after the audience this morning with Pope Francis."...

"Today is a historic day with this meeting with the Pope at the Vatican," commented Mehmet Haberal, an internationally reknowned surgeon, who introduced the techniques of liver transplantation to Turkey."

"We express great concern with regards to trafficking and commercialisation of organs around the  world - said Professor Francis L. Delmonico, professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School - we are very encouraged by the Pope's statement, he said one thing very clearly."

The mayor of Rome reported the words spoken to them by the Pope, "'I  authorise you to say that the Pope considers the sale of human organs as an immoral act.' The Pope told us this and it is a very strong position. We have an extremely important task, we face a planetary drama and we do it from Rome, which seeks to be a reference point in the planet."

"The Pope has said that the commercialisation of organs is immoral," echoed Delmonico. "We are grateful to the mayor and to the Pope for this support."

Doctor Beatriz Dominiguez-Gil, member of the Organizacion Nacional de Trasplantes in Spain and a Councillor of the international Transplantation Society, pointed out that "patients are usually part of a rich minority, with organs coming instead from the poorer classes. We need clear laws which are lacking in many countries." Doctor Mirela Busic, coordinator of the national transplant service of the Croatian Ministry of Health, described the day as "an important mission". 

According to data released during the conference in the Capitol, each year 10,000 illegal organ transplants take place worldwide, "more than one every hour. Especially kidneys, which make up 75% of the illegal market."

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