Transplantation Society reiterates position against selling organs

MIAMI, Aug. 30 The practice of buying and selling human organs is of particular concern to The Transplantation Society, the field's only international society, with more than 3,000 members from 65 countries, including those where black markets for organs from living donors appear to be on the rise. As such, the society today reiterated its position against the selling of organs and commercial organ trafficking on the final day of its XIX International Congress, which began Monday at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

When professionals in the field apply for membership to The Transplantation Society they must sign a policy statement in acceptance of certain ethical standards. Among these is a statement that reads, "Organs and tissues should be freely given without commercial consideration of financial profit." In addition, prospective members must agree with the society's recommendation that "all countries should enact legislation forbidding all commercial trafficking in tissues and organs."

"No transplant surgeon/team shall be involved directly or indirectly in the buying or selling of organs/tissues or in any transplant activity aimed at commercial gain to himself/herself or an associated hospital or institute," the society's ethics committee concluded in 1986. This statement was made well before some groups suggested that financial incentives for donors be considered as a means to help alleviate the critical shortage of organs and before a recent spate of news accounts of black markets in Third World countries, which make it appear such practices are becoming more common.

"Since arriving at our position in 1986, the ethics committee has, over the years, maintained a consistent position regarding the selling of organs. In the current climate, it is even more important that The Transplantation Society take seriously its role of monitoring and policing transplantation activity in order that such activity adheres to proper principl

Contact: Lisa Rossi
Transplantation Society

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