'Illegal organ trade should be legalized'

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{image-organ trad34e_14062008.jpg news.oneindia.in}London, Jun 14: The illegal international market in transplant organs taken from living donors should be legalised and regulated, leading surgeon Maqsood Noorani has said. Professor Noorani said a worldwide shortage of organs led to ''transplant tourism''-- where patients travel abroad for operations-- which was being exploited by unscrupulous operators who put donors and recipients at risk.

The surgeon at Bart's and The London NHS Trust has been treating Britons who suffered complications after travelling to Pakistan to buy a kidney from a live donor. He said living donors in poor countries need compensation for their organs and it should be the responsibility of the government to provide it rather than leaving it to the market. ''In the past few years, transplant tourism has become a lucrative business in Lahore, Rawalpindiand Islamabad,'' the British Medical Journal quoted him as saying.

''Private hospitals shamelessly advertise their services while taxi drivers and touts scavenge for desperate, poor people to meet the increasing demand for kidneys by foreigners,'' he added Urging developing countries like Pakistan to establish an authority with the private sector to encourage live donations, he said the donors should be compensated with offers of accommodation or education for their children instead of cash.


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