The Declaration of Istanbul

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In this month’s C-JASN, “The Declaration of Istanbul” is presented.  

Recently a group of world leaders of the transplant community held a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey during which the general topic of discussion was the ethics of organic trafficking and transplant tourism–that is, the practice of a patient from one country visiting another country with the express purpose of obtaining an organ transplant (which for all practical purposes means a kidney transplant most of the time).  
The Declaration of Istanbul states that the poor who sell their organs are being exploited–either by more wealthy individuals within their own country, or by those abroad–and therefore that such practices be banned.  
The only country where individuals are allowed to sell their own organs is Iran–though certainly “transplant tourism” occurs with considerable frequency in many other countries illegally, and there are undoubtedly some physicians who are willingly participating in the practice.

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