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Philosophical Foundations of Medical Law$
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Andelka M. Phillips, Thana C. de Campos, and Jonathan Herring

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796558

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198796558.001.0001

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Trafficking, Tourism, and Trading

Trafficking, Tourism, and Trading

A Dark Convergence in Transplantation?

(p.237) 16 Trafficking, Tourism, and Trading
Philosophical Foundations of Medical Law

Trevor Stammers

Oxford University Press

Organ transplantation has become a victim of its own success with the global need for organs outstripping supply. Organ trafficking and transplant tourism have developed as ways to circumvent the shortage. Responses from the United Nations and World Health Organization have condemned these practices and called for their elimination. There are increasing calls to permit legalized organ markets, claiming they would not only ease the organ shortage, but also reduce trafficking and transplant tourism. This chapter argues that organ trafficking, tourism, and trading are all inter-related and harm results to the vendors from all three. The arguments for legalized organ markets from philosophers, economists, and clinicians are presented and critiqued with a particular emphasis on the work of Janet Radcliffe-Richards. The criteria for an ideal organ market as outlined by Arthur Matas are then summarized and discussed, and followed by an exploration of the current situation regarding organ transplantation in Iran—the only country in the world to have a state-regulated organ market. A brief résumé of the history of organ markets is given, followed by an assessment of whether the Iranian model is one which should be followed as Western advocates of organ markets suggest, or whether it illustrates many of the problems of payment for organs of which opponents of such markets warn. It is concluded that the poor and vulnerable are overall the most likely to be the biggest losers in all forms of organ selling, whether by trafficking, transplant tourism, or trading in organ markets.

Keywords:   organ donation, transplantation, organ trafficking, transplant tourism, Declaration of Istanbul, Doha Declaration, Janet Radciffe-Richards, Iran, organ market

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