Organ Trafficking in Pakistan

Health researchers and clinicians in Pakistan report that Pakistan remains a major destination for international patients seeking to purchase black market kidneys.  Speaking at a press conference earlier today, researchers reported that they had identified over 450 cases of organ trafficking since March 2010.  According to Professor Abidul Hasan Rizvi, Pakistan’s Ministry of Health and Human Organ Transplant Authority have failed to address the resurgence in organ trafficking despite being presented with detailed evidence identifying participants in the kidney trade.  Dr. Rizvi reports that recipients of purchased kidneys in Pakistan are at risk of receiving substandard care.  Dr. Rizvi also reports instances in which kidney sellers have been victims of sexual assault and held against their will.  Professor Rizvi notes that high interest rates and debt drive many individuals to participate in kidney selling.  Pakistan passed a law prohibiting buying and selling of kidneys in 2010.  Though legislation appears to have briefly slowed trade in organs, Pakistan is once again a leading destination nation for kidney buying.  Physicians are active participants in the kidney trade, brokers connect buyers to sellers, and government officials and law enforcement officers reportedly allow buying and selling to occur despite the illegal nature of these transactions.

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