Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Human Organ Trade - Malaysia's position

I reproduce a report (likely won't be reported in the old ST) from the NST (New Straits Times) on a speech given by Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican on the occasion of World Health Organisation regional meeting on Guiding Principles on Human Organ Transplantation.

I don't usually have a high regard for Malaysia's politicians and bureaucrats, but here, I must take my hat off to Dr Ismail Merican for making a clear stand about this.
Malaysia opposes organ trafficking, transplant tourism & commercialism
By : Annie Freeda Cruez
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday: “We are against organ trafficking, transplant tourism and transplant commercialism.”

He fears that what is happening in some other countries, where human trafficking to source for organs, may occur here. He does not want the vulnerable and poor to be made to sell their organs.

He warned that commercialisation of organ, tissue and cell transplantation, and any act that might indirectly promote or lead to commercial transactions of organs, was prohibited.

“Although it has not been reported in Malaysia, we are aware that it is happening in this region. We are against it,” he told reporters at the inaugural three-day World Health Organisation regional meeting on Guiding Principles on Human Organ Transplantation at a hotel here jointly organised by the WHO and the Malaysian Society of Transplantation. It is supported by the Health Ministry.
Dr Ismail said the trade in organs was due to a persistent shortage.

The ministry, he said, was against inducing vulnerable individuals or groups such as illiterate and impoverished people, illegal immigrants, prisoners and political or economic refugees being made living donors.

“We know that countries are struggling to attain self-sufficiency in the availability of organs for transplantation. It is in this unfortunate situation that unethical market practices such as transplant tourism and human trafficking are rearing their ugly heads,” he said.

There was a need to “decapitate these ugly heads” and restore order and accountability to the practice of organ transplant and that was the reason why WHO had prepared the revised guiding principles on human organ transplantation, he said.

Worldwide, he said, there were attempts to regulate the unbridled commercialisation with various strategies, proposals and mechanisms to “introduce morals into the market”.

However, the ingenuity of regulated “organ entrepreneurs” knew no bounds, said Dr Ismail.


auntielucia said...

Hi Giga: I think Singaporeans' impression of Malaysian politicians has been highly prejudiced and brainwashed by the various media reports, Western and including our own.

truth be told, Malaysia may sometimes be ahead of S'pore but don't have enough PR (or too modest) to make known its technological progress. Fr example, we are only now having our cashcards for ERP auto topped up when they run low. It's at least a decade that Malaysians using toll roads with TAG cards (essentially cash cards) have been able to have the auto-top up facility, and can opt for a limit to the amt of top-up. Also, IVU can be shifted from vehicle to vehicle, instead of being dedicated (stuck) to one car like ours.

Do read the Malaysian bloggers I showcase in my website and u wld see a) they are highly creative and entrepreneurial and b) their English ain't half bad!

Why their producer Yasmin something even managed to make big $ fm S'pore with an unimaginative video promoting family life by celebrating imperfection. Did u notice or know that the "sari" worn by the chief mourner is in fact the cloth which drapes all the outdoor gods in Bali... oh my, the way we r taken for rides ain't funny...

gigamole said...

I don't really disagree with you AuntieL. Often the Malaysian approach is a lot more down to earth and in many ways more grounded in terms of a 'value system'. Approaches that we can often identify with, rather than the pompous self-serving policies our side articulates. Trouble is you often got to 'elak' and sift away all the nonsensical stuff generated by corrupt and incompetent middle management.

auntielucia said...

Hello, after some deliberation I just had to give u a comeback. Corrupt n incompetent middle management aren't a Malaysian-only affliction. Just as guanxi n godfathers aren't particularly Chinese or Italian. Malaysia has a system that has been tested by May 13, RM collapse, loss of tin n rubber stranglehold and yes political infighting so unimaginable in S'pore (think Mahathir, Tengku Razaleigh n Anwar) and now 4 states in Opp hands! We should look at Malaysia with admiration, not condescension! ;)

gigamole said...

hehheh...yup there are always diamonds in the rough....but seems like fewer and fewer diamonds as the rougher get their ways.