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    ABSTRACT: While the ethical aspects of transplant tourism have received much attention recently, less has been written about the medical safety of this practice. We retrospectively evaluated the outcomes of patients who purchased organs internationally and presented to our center for follow-up care. Baseline demographic characteristics were recorded. Post-operative outcomes including patient survival, graft survival, five-yr graft function, and complications were assessed. Eight patients who purchased international organs for transplant were identified. The country of transplant was China (n = 3), Pakistan (n = 3), India (n = 1), and the Philippines (n = 1). All patients were born in either Asia or the Middle East and traveled to the region of their ethnicity for transplantation. The mean time to presentation was 49 d post-operatively. The overall one- and two-yr patient survival rates were 87% and 75%, respectively. One patient died of miliary tuberculosis and another of Acinetobacter baumanii sepsis. There was one case of newly acquired hepatitis B infection. At last follow-up, all six surviving patients had functioning grafts with a mean creatinine level of 1.26 mg/dL at five yr. Although intermediate-term graft function is acceptable, the early morbidity and mortality among transplant tourists is high. These results suggest that the associated risks may not justify the trip.
    Clinical Transplantation 10/2010; 25(4):633-7. · 1.63 Impact Factor
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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: 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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