FOX News | Dr. David Samadi
Organ transplantation is a necessary treatment for many individuals whose organs have failed and has been in practice in the United States since the 1950s. In the U.S. organ donations are regulated by an independent non-for-profit organization, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Organs are given to those whose need is the greatest, regardless of wealth or position. Unfortunately, the need for organs greatly outweighs the current supply. As of March 2012 over 113,115 patients are currently waiting for an organ to become available.
An illegal market has capitalized on these individuals’ desperation, and the prospects of large profits are creating unfortunate incentives, with patients willing to pay up to $200,000 for a kidney. According to the WHO report, 76 percent of organs sold were kidneys, reflecting the growing demand secondary to complications of high blood pressure and diabetes.
There are many ethical and health concerns surrounding the trafficking of human organs. In the majority of situations, those selling their organs represent members of vulnerable populations. In countries like Pakistan, China or India, a person can sell a kidney for $5,000, while those handling the transaction make a substantial profit.
Prior reports have also demonstrated that the recipients of illegal organs tend to fair worse than those who have received one legally. A recent meta-analysis involving 39 original publications revealed that those obtaining organs abroad are at a higher risk of contracting transmissible diseases, such as hepatitis B or HIV. Furthermore the patient and organ survival rates abroad are significantly lower. These statistics might even underestimate the risk as the data is vulnerable to survivor bias; those who do not survive the procedure and return home are often not included in studies.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/30/consequences-rise-in-illegal-organ-trafficking/#ixzz1wMeTf6ym