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Majority of doctors skeptical of organ transplantation practices in China
Date:4/22/2009

San Francisco, Calif. - April 22, 2009 The globalization of health care and the growth of "transplant tourism" (traveling abroad to purchase donor organs and undergo organ transplantation) have outpaced the implementation of internationally accepted ethical standards for procurement of organs for transplantation. A new article appearing in Clinical Transplantation finds that both U.S. and foreign transplant physicians expressed serious concern about organ procurement practices in China, and that this concern influenced their patient care decisions. The study is the first to assess how the perceptions of healthcare providers on transplant tourism may influence domestic patient care decisions.

Globalization of medical and surgical technology has increased the capacity for countries worldwide to perform organ transplantation. Unfortunately, dramatic geographic variation in the availability of organs for transplantation and a parallel discrepancy in financial resources for healthcare have increasingly led desperate patients to transplant tourism. Organ procurement in China has been especially criticized for its reliance on executed prisoners as donors.

An anonymous case-based questionnaire was used to survey a sample of healthcare professionals with affiliations to hepatology and transplantation professional societies. A strong majority believed procurement practices were ethically sound in the U.S. and Europe, but only 4 percent believed that procurement practices were ethically sound in China.

The majority of doctors surveyed said that they would provide post-transplantation care for patients who underwent liver transplantation at another domestic center, in a foreign country or in China. However, respondents who suspected unethical procurement practices in China were more reluctant to do so.

The practice of transplant tourism has been decried by numerous national and international healthcare organizations. These o
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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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