Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Human Organ “Farms” Abuse World’s Poor

A particularly detestable practice is apparently on the rise in the so-called third world in which human organs are removed from otherwise healthy (poor donor) individuals (for profit) and sold to wealthy recipients. After being subjected to risky surgery and potential life threatening complications the donors’ receive what is a nominal reimbursement for their organ(s).

“…organ farms (really ‘hospitals’ that removed organs from paid donors) arose in Pakistan, the Philippines and various other states to supply first-world demand for transplants…” See here

On so many levels this is patently immoral! The United States and most of the “developed” world have strict laws prohibiting the sale of human organs, eg.

Section 301 of the National Organ Transplant Act (“NOTA” or “Act”), entitled “Prohibition of organ purchases,” imposes criminal penalties of up to $50,000 and five years in prison on any person who “knowingly acquire[s], receive[s], or otherwise transfer[s] any human organ for valuable consideration for use in human transplantation if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” 42 U.S.C. § 274e (2000).

Unfortunately, this scurrilous practice occurs in an environment in which the basic necessities of life are too frequently considered a privilege rather than a “right” associated with basic human dignity/flourishing.

Nations in which paid “donors” are most frequently found include: China, Pakistan, Colombia, and the Philippines according to William Saletan of Slate magazine April, 2007

It behooves all persons of good will to oppose this detestable practice by appeal to the appropriate international venue(s), e.g. UN Commission on Human Rights. For Example See here.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert