Saturday, January 3, 2009

Market for transplantable organs

The Times of London reports on Outrage over organs ‘sold to foreigners’

Much of the discussion of sales of transplantable organs focuses on whether the organ donors may receive compensation. Most countries forbid such sales as repugnant. The issue here is quite different. Britain has both private medicine and a National Health Service, and in transplants performed privately, the transplantable organ is essentially sold in a package with the surgery and hospitalization. That is, even without any payments to donors, hospitals and surgeons sell organs, and when the transplant recipients are not British nationals, questions are being raised, the paper reports:

"THE organs of 50 British National Health Service donors have been given to foreign patients who have paid about £75,000 each for private transplant operations in the past two years, freedom of information documents show.
The liver transplants took place at NHS hospitals, despite severe shortages that mean many British patients die while waiting for an organ that could save their lives.
The documents disclose that 40 patients from Greece and Cyprus received liver transplants in the UK paid for by their governments. Donated livers were also given to people from non-European Union countries including Libya, the United Arab Emirates, China and Israel.
The surgeons who carry out the transplants receive a share of the operation fee — believed to be about £20,000 — as all the work is done privately in NHS hospitals. "

See my recent posts on the ongoing discussion in the U.S. on compensation for donors here and here. In the U.S. too, of course, although no payments to donors or their survivors are permitted, patients receive organs as part of a package that they or their insurers are charged for.


darkmuse said...

Fully support! Simply amazing article. Shocked, they say. Well done

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buy research paper online said...

It seems to me, in ischiopagic conjoined twins, a healthy leg was transplanted from a dying conjoined twin to her sister. There is no need for immunosuppresion because of the identical genetic make-up of the donor and recipient.