Organ markets

The Declaration of Istanbul, consistent with Resolutions 44.25 and 63.22 of the World Health Assembly, strongly condemns the sale of human organs. Principle 5 of the World Health Organization's Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue and Organ Transplantation states:

"Cells, tissues and organs should only be donated freely, without any monetary payment or other reward of monetary value. Purchasing, or offering to purchase, cells, tissues or organs for transplantation, or their sale by living persons or by the next of kin for deceased persons, should be banned.

The prohibition on sale or purchase of cells, tissues and organs does not preclude reimbursing reasonable and verifiable expenses incurred by the donor, including loss of income, or paying the costs of recovering, processing, preserving and supplying human cells, tissues or organs for transplantation."

Commentary in the Guiding Principles justifies this prohibition as follows:

"Payment for cells, tissues and organs is likely to take unfair advantage of the poorest and most vulnerable groups, undermines altruistic donation, and leads to profiteering and human trafficking. Such payment conveys the idea that some persons lack dignity, that they are mere objects to be used by others."


In this section you'll find links to a number of articles discussing the issue of markets in human organs.

Title Created Date
Six Decades of Organ Donation and the Challenges That Shifting the United States to a Market System Would Create Around the World 21 December 2014
Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Assessing the Likely Harms to Kidney Vendors in Regulated Organ Markets” 21 September 2014
The New York Times 'Room for Debate' 20 September 2014
A Further Lesson From Existing Kidney Markets 20 September 2014
Playing Into the Hands of the Promarket Campaigners 20 September 2014
Are Kidney Markets Morally Permissible If Vendors Do Not Benefit? 20 September 2014
Regulated Organ Market: Reality Versus Rhetoric 20 September 2014
Organ markets - problems beyond harm to vendors 20 September 2014
Risk, Regulation, and Financial Incentives for Living Kidney Donation 19 September 2014
Assessing the likely harms to kidney vendors in regulated organ markets 19 September 2014

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