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Commentary in The Lancet on the Declaration of Istanbul Sees Organ Transplantation Worldwide Threatened by Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism and Commercialism
Date:7/3/2008

BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The July 5 issue of the leading medical journal, The Lancet, highlights the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism, an important affirmation of ethical principles and practices adopted on May 2, 2008, at an International Summit of more than 150 healthcare professionals, officials, scientists, ethicists and legal scholars from 78 countries and 20 international organizations. A Commentary, authored by the 32-member Steering Committee of the Istanbul Summit, describes how the policies advocated by the Declaration will help to combat the trafficking of people as a source of human organs for transplantation, and the transplant tourism which depends on organ sales and undermines countries' efforts to meet the health needs of their own populations. The commentary and the declaration are available at the following Multimedia News release link, please click: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/transplantationsociety/33914/

Organ commercialism, which targets vulnerable populations (such as illiterate and impoverished persons, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, and political or economic refugees) in resource-poor countries, has been condemned by international bodies such as the World Health Organization for decades. Yet in recent years, as a consequence of the increasing ease of internet communication and the willingness of patients in rich countries to travel and purchase organs, organ trafficking and transplant tourism have grown into global problems. For example, as of 2006, foreigners received two-thirds of the 2000 kidney transplants performed annually in Pakistan.

The Declaration of Istanbul proclaims that the poor who sell their organs are being exploited, whether by richer people within their own countries or by transplant tourists from abroad. Moreover, transplant tourists risk physical harm
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SOURCE The Transplantation Society
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