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    ABSTRACT: Access to organ transplantation depends on national circumstances, and is partly determined by the cost of health care, availability of transplant services, the level of technical capacity and the availability of organs. Commercial transplantation is estimated to account for 5%-10% (3500-7000) of kidney transplants performed annually throughout the world. This review is to determine the state and outcome of renal transplantation associated with transplant tourism (TT) and the key challenges with such transplantation. The stakeholders of commercial transplantation include: patients on the waiting lists in developed countries or not on any list in developing countries; dialysis funding bodies; middlemen, hosting transplant centres; organ-exporting countries; and organ vendors. TT and commercial kidney transplants are associated with a high incidence of surgical complications, acute rejection and invasive infection which cause major morbidity and mortality. There are ethical and medical concerns regarding the management of recipients of organs from vendors. The growing demand for transplantation, the perceived failure of altruistic donation in providing enough organs has led to calls for a legalised market in organ procurement or regulated trial in incentives for donation. Developing transplant services worldwide has many benefits - improving results of transplantation as they would be performed legally, increasing the donor pool and making TT unnecessary. Meanwhile there is a need to re-examine intrinsic attitudes to TT bearing in mind the cultural and economic realities of globalisation. Perhaps the World Health Organization in conjunction with The Transplantation Society would set up a working party of stakeholders to study this matter in greater detail and make recommendations.
    World journal of transplantation. 02/2012; 2(1):9-18.
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    ABSTRACT: Transplant tourism is the term used for patients who travel abroad for transplantation. Transplant tourism has always been surrounded with controversy regarding how these organs were obtained, the donor's care after transplantation, and the recipient outcome. Many authors have found that the outcome of the recipients in transplant tourism is inferior to those transplanted in their own countries. However, most these studies were small, with the latest one including only 33 patients. Here, we describe the outcome of 93 patients who were transplanted abroad compared with local transplantation. All transplant patients who were followed up at our Nephrology Clinic from 1998 until 2008 were identified using our data base system. We selected patients transplanted from 2003 and forward because the computerized system for laboratory and electronic records began operation that year. A total of 165 patients were identified (93 in the tourist group and 72 in the local one). Transplant tourists had a higher rate of acute rejection in the first year compared with local transplantation (27.9% vs. 9.9, P=0.005), higher mean creatinine at 6 months and 1 year (120 vs. 101 micromol/L, P=0.0007, 113 vs. 98 micromol/L, P=0.008). There was no statistical difference in graft or patient survival in 1 or 2 years after transplantation. However, transplant tourist had a higher rate of cytomegalovirus infection (15.1% vs. 5.6%, P=0.05) and hepatitis C seroconversion (7.5% vs. 0%, P=0.02). Transplant tourists had a more complex posttransplantation course with higher incidence of acute rejection and infectious complications.
    Transplantation 05/2010; 90(2):184-8. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Due to lengthening waiting lists for kidney transplantation, a debate has emerged as to whether financial incentives should be used to stimulate living kidney donation. In recent surveys among the general public approximately 25% was in favor of financial incentives while the majority was opposed or undecided. In the present study, we investigated the opinion of living kidney donors regarding financial incentives for living kidney donation. We asked 250 living kidney donors whether they, in retrospect, would have wanted a financial reward for their donation. We also investigated whether they were in favor of using financial incentives in a government-controlled system to stimulate living anonymous donation. Additionally, the type of incentive deemed most appropriate was also investigated. In general almost half (46%) of the study population were positive toward introducing financial incentives for living donors. The majority (78%) was not in favor of any kind of reward for themselves as they had donated out of love for the recipient or out of altruistic principles. Remarkably, 60% of the donors were in favor of a financial incentive for individuals donating anonymously. A reduced premium or free health insurance was the preferred incentive.
    American Journal of Transplantation 11/2010; 10(11):2488-92. · 6.19 Impact Factor

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