Children Sold for Transplants: Medical and Legal Aspects
Nursing Ethics. 1998 Nov; 5(6): 518-526.
Over the last few decades there has been a substantially higher percentage of successful organ transplants but also a significant imbalance between the demand for and the supply of organs, creating the basis for a highly profitable black market trade in human organs. Sometimes there are reports that children have been kidnapped, only to reappear later lacking one kidney, or that they simply disappear and are subsequently killed to have all their transplantable organs removed for profit. The European Union feels that there is a need for action and that it has a duty to act in this field, especially for ethical reasons. There is now established close co-operation between the various European transplant organizations. The legal protection of children with regard to organ transplantation is not specifically mentioned in the existing conventions because this issue was not foreseen at the time of their preparation. However, the issue is covered in a broader sense by more general provisions. There are endless rumours surrounding this area. Members of various organizations who travel in the suspected countries say that the trafficking in children who are sold for transplantation is well known, but it is too difficult and very dangerous to catch the people involved. We have to conclude that it has been impossible to prove or disprove the rumours, but they are consistent and we all, especially in the health care professions, have an obligation to be keenly aware of how and where organs are obtained.
Adults; Animal Organs; Children; Coercion; Donors; Guidelines; Health; Health Care; International Aspects; Law; Law Enforcement; Legal Aspects; Misconduct; Organ Donation; Organ Donors; Organ Transplantation; Organizations; Parents; Physicians; Remuneration; Rights; Scarcity; Tissue Donation; Transplantation; Travel; World Health;
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