“Transplant tourism”: the Indian perspective of an international pandemic
*Corresponding Author: Dr. Dasari Harish, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The only hope for a patient suffering from organ failure is transplantation from a healthy donor and advances in the medical field have enabled the use of several organs for transplant purposes. Harvesting/retrieval of organs from the Non Heart-Beating Donors (NHBDs) is the most common method for procuring organs like eyes, kidneys, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, heart, etc. However, of all these organs, kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs as they are the ones that can be procured even from the living.
Since a person can survive with a single kidney, people in the underdeveloped and developing countries are lured into selling them to a wealthy recipient, usually from the oil rich Middle-East Countries or the West. This has led to a newer concept in the tourism world- “Transplant Tourism”. Wealthy recipients come to preplanned destinations for the purpose of transplantation where organs, particularly kidneys, procured illegally from the poor are transplanted for huge profits. The donors, who are usually impoverished and illiterate, are robbed off both their organs and just due.
Egypt, Philippines, India, China, Moldova and Pakistan are some of the countries where this trade flourishes.
In the recent past, India had become a hot bed for transplant surgeries for the people from ‘affluent’ and ‘developed’ countries. The Amritsar scandal, Bombay, Bangalore, Tamilnadu and Delhi scandals are still fresh in our minds. In the recent past, police raids in various private hospitals in and around Chennai and Madurai, of the state of Tamilnadu, unearthed a kidney scam worth up to $25 million. Most of the so called donors were the hapless tsunami victims and their relatives, who were promised up to $ 3000 by the middlemen, but were eventually, paid only $1000.
Organ failure, Organ donation, Organ transplantation, Transplant tourism.