Asia in the Spotlight of the International Organ Trade: Time to Take Action
Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 11-24, March 2007
15 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2007
Along with the increase of organ procurement programs worldwide, there is growing discussion about the morality of organ sales and the emergence of the international organ trade. There is a volume of commentaries on both sides defending and condemning the morality of organ sales. However, on the one hand, the well-established position against commerce in organs has not been effective in stopping the rapid growth of organ markets around the world. On the other, the arguments in favor of organ sales have little popular acceptance. Patients have to travel beyond geographical borders to receive transplants, either because they cannot find a donor at home or because transplant technology has not been well established in their country. Although the morality of individual organ sales is surrounded by controversy and doubt, there is a relative consensus on the immorality of organ trafficking, especially across borders.
The problem of organ trade is no longer a domestic but an international issue. Asia has become notorious as a hub for transplant tourism and as a source of organs for many needy patients from other countries. After examining the global situation on organ procurement and trade, this paper focuses on the situation in Asia and highlights some countries' positive experiences to increase organ supply and to tackle organized trade on human body parts. By suggesting the formation of "Asian Taskforce" the paper calls for a joint action by law and ethics to tackle the issue of international trade in human body parts.
Keywords: Organ transplantation, Organ trade in Asia, Organ market, Asian Task Force
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