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Bulgarian hospital admits role in illegal transplants

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Abstract

Managers at one of Bulgaria's top hospitals have admitted that their institution was involved in at least 20 illegal transplant operations. Authorities are now investigating whether eastern Europeans are being flown to Bulgaria to supply wealthy patients with kidneys. Bojan Pancevski reports.

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... Healthcare corporations' crime has been identified as one of the most difficult whitecollar crimes to prosecute (Bucy, 1988) because of the idiosyncratic features of the healthcare industry: the ambiguous and emotional nature of medicine, deference to the doctors, complex regulatory schemes and the small amounts of money involved in typical healthcare transactions. This is reflected in the fact that to date there are only two known prosecutions of hospitals in THBOR (South Africa and Bulgaria) for allowing facilities to be used and employees to conduct illegal transplantations (Allain, 2011;Pancevski, 2006). Finally, lack of accountability is a major consideration in crimes occurring in medical contexts, which is exacerbated by the great latitude in most countries for the medical profession to police itself and by the tendency of the law to make doctors a "special case" (Montgomery, 1997). ...
... Prosecutions of hospitals have taken place in South Africa and Bulgaria. It concerned top hospitals which allowed its employees and facilities to be used to conduct illegal transplantations, with kidneys obtained from foreign impoverished individuals and transplanted into Israeli recipients [206,222]. Although some authors mention the involvement of state hospitals [75,190,196], illegal organ transplantations usually take place in private hospitals [53,75,86,105,107,190,196,204,223,224]. ...
Book
Full-text available
This book presents new data on trafficking in human beings for organ removal, collected under the auspices of the EU-funded project ‘combating traf¬ficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal’ (The HOTT Project) between 2012 and 2015. The book starts with a comprehensive literature review of the crime (Chapter I). This is followed by an empirical interview study on patients who purchased kidney transplants abroad (Chapter II), a study of prosecuted criminal cases (Chapter III), recommendations to improve non-legislative responses to the crime (Chapter IV) and ¬ finally, indicators for law enforcement, transplant professionals and victim support workers to identify the crime (Chapter V).
... Prosecutions of hospitals have taken place in South Africa and Bulgaria. It concerned top hospitals which allowed its employees and facilities to be used to conduct illegal transplantations, with kidneys obtained from foreign impoverished individuals and transplanted into Israeli recipients (206,222). ...
... Prosecutions of hospitals have taken place in South Africa and Bulgaria. It concerned top hospitals which allowed its employees and facilities to be used to conduct illegal transplantations, with kidneys obtained from foreign impoverished individuals and transplanted into Israeli recipients (206,222). ...
Article
Full-text available
P a g e 2 | 79 This review is the first delivery of a series of reports, to be published as a book (forthcoming in 2016) under the HOTT project: 1. Literature review (December 2013) 2. A report on prosecuted cases (October 2014) 3. Empirical report on patients who travel overseas for alleged illegal transplantations (October 2014) 4. Indicators to help data collection and identification of trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal (August 2015) 5. Recommendations to improve non-legislative response (August 2015) This literature review can be cited as follows: Pascalev A, De Jong J, Ambagtsheer F, Lundin S, Ivanovski N, Codreanu C, Gunnarson M, Yankov J, Frunza M, Byström I, Bos M, Weimar W, Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal: a comprehensive literature review. Online at www.hottproject.com (December 2013). This report is published with the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme European Commission – Directorate General Home Affairs. The HOTT project has been funded with the support of the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which can be made of the information contained therein.
... Because payment for organs is illegal in most countries, people may travel to the donor's homeland for the transplantation. 3 Limited studies indicate possible exploitation of these paid donors, who may get minimal benefit from their purported financial compensation. 4 More worrisome is our lack of knowledge about adverse outcomes they experience. ...
... This is illegal in the majority of countries; therefore people may travel to the donor's home country for the transplantation. 3,4 A national audit conducted within the UK identified 23 patients who had committed such acts of renal transplantation against medical advice. The outcome of these transplants was that 35% of these patients died shortly after their return to the UK and a further 21% lost their kidneys. ...
Book
Organ transplantation is a much-discussed subject, and the importance of living organ donation is increasing significantly. Yet despite all efforts, too few donor organs are available to help all patients in need. This book analyses whether the national legal regulations are also partly responsible for the organ shortage in the Member States of the European Union. In addition to a detailed analysis of the various national regulations, the main arguments in favour of and against legal restrictions on living organ donation are considered. Furthermore, the European Union's authority is investigated, namely, whether it is entitled to establish statutory provisions for the Member States with respect to a harmonized regulation of living organ donation. Based on the results of the analysis, the author establishes a Best Practice Proposal for living organ donation. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. All rights are reserved.
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