Thursday, November 13, 2008

Human organ trade - latest MoH press release

So another balloon has been floated... (for the full press release...go here).

"The Ministry of Health (MOH) is proposing three amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA). They are:
(a) Lift the upper age limit for cadaveric organ donation;
(b) Allow donor-recipient paired matching for exchanges of organs; and
(c) Compensate living donors according to international ethical practices."

It certainly looks a fait accompli despite the soliciting of public views...

So far, the proposed scale of 'reimbursements' appear reasonable... "
these donors (will) be compensated for direct costs incurred as a result of the donation, and indirect losses such as lost earnings and future expenses due to the donation. The compensation framework will be in line with international and local ethical recommendations." But the devil always is in the implementation...and especially with respect to the variable component in the reimbursement rate for 'lost earnings and future expenses'. But I am sure some systematic way can be found to consistently apply these principles.

Although I couldn't find it in the press release, it was reported in Channel NewsAsia that foreigners were not excluded although the focus was on Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. This is the 'trade' element that bugs me. I wish that it could be more specific about excluding the import of organs.

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