Sunday, January 27, 2019

Black market kidney transplants to UK patients? An inflammatory article in the Daily Mail

There seems to be good evidence that kidneys for transplantation are bought and sold in some parts of the world. However I'm not aware of any good data on how much of this trade involves people from wealthy countries, as opposed to internal commerce in less well resourced countries.

 Here's a scare headline from the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail:
REVEALED: Hundreds of Britons who buy KIDNEYS on the black market from overseas traffickers charging £30,000 in a bid to avoid NHS waiting lists are coming back with deadly diseases such as HIV and hepatitis

It turns out that the "hundreds"  in the National Health Service data are 400, over a period of 16 years, which averages out to 25 Britons a year.

"Around three million Britons have chronic kidney disease, with the biggest causes uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. It contributes to 45,000 early deaths every year.

NHS figures show almost 400 UK residents have received follow-up support after a transplant abroad over the past 16 years. But medics say the true number is likely to be higher because most are advised by brokers not to tell the NHS what they have done."

I don't know what kinds of health data the NHS collect, but in principle it would be easy to track all patients who return to the UK with a transplant from overseas, because such patients immediately need to get prescriptions for daily immunosuppressive drugs. (However I don't think we track these data in a centralized way in the U.S.)

HT Frank McCormick
Here some of what I've gleaned in the past:

Monday, December 17, 2018 

Australia's parliament reports on organ trafficking

Australia's parliament has published a report on organ trafficking in Australia. They didn't find much trafficking there, but recommend that data be more vigorously collected. They report that only one case of (attempted) paid organ donation has come to the attention of the authorities, but that it was successfully prevented, and the intended recipient died. The report ends with a case study of an anatomical exhibit using human cadavers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 

Kidney black markets are persistent

Black markets in kidneys--like those for narcotic drugs--have resisted attempts to abolish them.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Black markets for kidney transplants--arrests in Israel

"In the last two years, the ring reportedly arranged for 14 transplants in four countries; Turkey, Bulgaria, Thailand and Philippines"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Interview with a kidney buyer and seller in Syria

Here's an interview with a displaced person in Syria (an internal refugee) and the Syrian woman to whom he sold his kidney:
The woman in need of a kidney and the man willing to sell one to her: ‘I’m at the end of the line’

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

On Patients Who Purchase Organ Transplants Abroad--Many or few?

An article in the American Journal of Transplantation:
On Patients Who Purchase Organ Transplants Abroad
by F. Ambagtsheer,*, J. de Jong,W. M. Bramer and W. Weimar
"We conclude that the scientific literature does not reflect a large number of patients buying organs. Organ purchases were more often assumed than determined. A reporting code for transplant professionals to report organ trafficking networks is a potential strategy to collect and quantify cases."

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