Sat, Jun 13, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Organ transplant laws tightened

TRANSPLANT TOURISM:DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu said the law was changed to require people who have transplants abroad to provide details to local hospitals

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Human Organ Transplantation Act (人體器官移植條例) has been amended to prohibit the use of organs from executed prisoners, as well as the sale, purchase and brokering of organs.

The legislature yesterday passed amendments banning the sale and purchase of organs for transplantation, as well as the use of organs from executed prisoners.

The amendments were made in accordance with international principles and agreements, which say that a state is obligated to be “self-sufficient in organ transplants, ban organ selling and buying, and prevent its commercialization and ‘transplant tourism,’” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said.

According to the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center, there are at least 7,862 people waiting for organ transplants in the nation, Tien said.

“With the revisions, we have endeavored to expand the scope of organ donation by requiring administrative offices to inquire about people’s intentions upon registering as an organ donor when they apply for [or renew] a driver’s license, National Health Insurance card or national identification card,” Tien said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍) said that restrictions on living-donor transplants have also been relaxed.

For example, with the amendments, transplants from living donors require the consent of only one, rather than two, family members, Hsu said.

Tien said that due to an international shortage of organs, “transplant tourism” has become a pressing issue for medical ethics and human rights, “especially the harvesting and selling of organs from living people.”

“The practice is not only against the principle that organs should not be sold, but also a crime against humanity,” Tien said.

“The law was amended to prohibit the selling, buying and brokering of organs, as well as transplant tourism,” she said.

Following international consensus, organs from executed prisoners are not to be used in the nation, Tien added.

Many Taiwanese go to China for illegal organ transplantations, DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said.

“That is why the law was amended to require those who have received organ transplants abroad to provide information to domestic hospitals where they are to receive post-transplant treatment about where the surgery was done and who the surgeons were,” Yu said.

“The domestic hospitals then have to report the cases they deals with,” she added.

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