Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Declaration of Istanbul

In this month's C-JASN, "The Declaration of Istanbul" is presented.  

Recently a group of world leaders of the transplant community held a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey during which the general topic of discussion was the ethics of organic trafficking and transplant tourism--that is, the practice of a patient from one country visiting another country with the express purpose of obtaining an organ transplant (which for all practical purposes means a kidney transplant most of the time).  

The Declaration of Istanbul states that the poor who sell their organs are being exploited--either by more wealthy individuals within their own country, or by those abroad--and therefore that such practices be banned.  

The only country where individuals are allowed to sell their own organs is Iran--though certainly "transplant tourism" occurs with considerable frequency in many other countries illegally, and there are undoubtedly some physicians who are willingly participating in the practice.

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