The declaration of Istanbul on Organ trafficking and transplant tourism

Omar Abboud, Mario Abbud-Filho, Kaldarbek Abdramanov, Sadiq Abdulla, Georgi Abraham, Amihan V. Abueva, Ademola Aderibigbe, Mustafa Al-Mousawi, Josefina Alberu, Richard D.M. Allen, Lynn C. Almazan-Gomez, Ibrahim Alnono, Ali Abdulkareem Alobaidli, Mona Alrukhaimi, Inés Álvarez, Lina Assad, Alain G. Assounga, Yenny Baez, Alireza Bagheri, Mohamed Adel BakrEbun Bamgboye, Antoine Barbari, Jacques Belghiti, Taieb Ben Abdallah, Salah Ben Ammar Mohamed, Michael Bos, Russell Britz, Debra Budiani, Alexander Capron, Cristina R. Castro, Jeremy Chapman, Klaus Chen Zhonghua, Igor Codreanu, Edward Cole, Emanuele Cozzi, Gabriel Danovitch, Razeen Davids, Marc De Broe, Leonardo De Castro, Francis L. Delmonico, Rania Deraoi, Ian Dittmer, Beatriz Domíngue-Gil, Valter Duro-Garcia, Ehtuish Ehtuish, Hatem El-Shoubaki, Miran Epstein, Iraj Fazel, Eduardo Fernandez Zincke, Rudolf Garcia-Gallont, Ahad J. Gohd, John Gill, Denis Glotz, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Carmen Gracida, Josep Grinyo, Jongwon Ha, Mehmet A. Haberal, Nadey Hakim, William Harmon, Tomonori Hasegawa, Adel Hassan Ahmed, David Hickey, Christian Hiesse, Yang Hongji, Ines Humar, Abdias Hurtado, Moustafa Wesam Ismail, Ninoslav Ivanovski, Vivekanand Jha, Delawir Kahn, Refaat Kamel, Ashok Kirpalani, Guenter Kirste, Eiji Kobayashi, Jan Koller, Leonieke Kranenburg, Norbert Lameire, Karim Laouabdia-Sellami, Ruipeng Lei, Adeera Levin, Josep Lloveras, Aleksander Lóhmus, Esmeralda Luciolli, Susanne Lundin, Choong Lye Wai, Stephen Lynch, Mahamane Maïga, Marie France Mamzer Bruneel, Nicole Maric, Dominique Martin, Marwan Masri, Maria A. Matamoros, Arthur Matas, Adrian McNeil, Bruno Melser, Enisa Megi, Farhat Moazam, Nabil Mohsin, Eytan Mor, Jorge Morales, Stephen Munn, Mark Murphy, Saraladevi Naicker, S. A.Anwar Naqvi, Luc Noël, Gregorio Obrador, Yolanda Oliveros, Enrique Ona, Arie Costerlee, Ole Oyen, Benita Padilla, Johann Pratschke, Ruth Rahamimov, Axel Rahmel, Oleg Reznik, S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi, Lesley Ann Roberts, Bernardo Rodriguez-Iturbe, Wojciech Rowinski, Bassam Saeed, Ashot Sarkissian, Mohamed H. Sayegh, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Sukru Sever Mehmet, Faissal A. Shaheen, Dhananjaya Sharma, Naoshi Shinozaki, Nasser Simforoosh, Harjit Singh, Thong Sok Hean, Margaret Somerville, Maria Stadtler, Antoine Stephan, Juliette Suirez, Jacques Suaudeau, Vasant Sumethkul, Shiro Takahara, Gilbert T. Thiel, Annika Tibell, Gia Tomadze, Matthew Kwok-Lung Tong, Daniel Fu-Chang Tsai, Remedios Uriarte, Yves F.C. Vanrenterghem, A. Vathsala, Willem Weimar, Daniel Wikler, Kimberly Young, Ulugbek Yuldashev, Minggang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 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 Istanbul Declaration 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 by unregulated and illegal transplantation. Participants in the Istanbul Summit concluded that transplant commercialism, which targets the vulnerable, transplant tourism, and organ trafficking should be prohibited. And they also urged their fellow transplant professionals, individually and through their organizations, to put an end to these unethical activities and fosfer safe, accountable practices that meet the needs of transplant recipients while protecting donors. Countries from which transplant tourists originate, as well as those to which they travel to obtain transplants, are just beginning to address their respective responsibilities to protect their people from exploitation and to develop national self-sufficiency in organ donation. The Declaration should reinforce the resolve of governments and international organizations to develop laws and guidelines to bring an end to wrongful practices. "The legacy of transplantation is threatened by organ trafficking and transplant tourism. The Declaration of Istanbul aims to combat these activities and to preserve the nobility of organ donation. The success of transplantation as a life-saving treatment does not require - nor justify - victimizing the world's poor as the source of organs for the rich" (Steering Committee of the Istanbul Summit).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1231
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

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