Organ Trafficking Must Be Wiped Out

The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins, MEP for the North West, has thrown his support behind proposals, voted on in Strasbourg this week, to address the growing scandal of organ trafficking.

Scientific progress has made organ transplantation increasingly effective and available to many more patients. However, the serious shortage of donors means that many patients still die before a suitable organ becomes available.

Commenting on the issue Sir Robert said:

"400 patients needing organ transplants have died in the last year. There is growing concern that the gap between supply and demand of organs has fostered the birth of a lucrative but abhorrent trade in human organs. Two distinct aspects of this trade cause me particular concern. Firstly, the trafficking in human beings with a view to the removal of their organs. Secondly, the purchase of organs from donors in third world countries by EU patients.

The shortage of legally available organs is due in no small part to the lack of public information and understanding on the issue. Surveys regularly show that while the vast majority of citizens say they would be willing to donate their organs after death, only a small minority have formally expressed their consent via a donor card.

From today, I will ensure that I possess an organ donor card and that I carry it with me at all times. What is more, I will be encouraging all those I know to do the same."
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