The Independent | Paul Peachy
New rules governing organ transplants are
being drawn up amid concern about money changing hands illegally as patients
make direct pleas to potential donors on social networking sites.
The transplant watchdog, the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), today said that it had seen an increase in people seeking strangers online to donate kidneys and livers and was publishing new guidelines next month to keep pace with developments.
The HTA said that it was examining the legality of a US donor matching website that launched its British version today which allows people seeking organs to speak directly with potential living donors. Under the NHS transplant scheme, altruistic living donors are not told who receives their kidney and a medical panel decides who needs it the most.
It is not illegal to specify who should receive a donated organ but the donor cannot receive any payment or reward. Both parties face physical and psychological reviews before any treatment can go ahead. The procedure is not without risk: there is a one in 3,000 chance of death to the donator of a kidney, which can rise to one in 200 for anyone donating part of a liver.Read more