Sunday, May 25, 2008

Philippines: The Department of Health Hit for Exemption of 8 Israeli Kidney Patients from Ban

From the Inquirer:

Donate your own kidneys before asking poor Filipinos to do so.

This was the challenge Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral leveled at Department of Health officials for approving the exemption of eight Israeli patients from the moratorium of kidney transplants to foreigners.

Cabral on Monday expressed her distress over the decision of the DoH National Transplant and Ethics Committee (NTEC) allowing the foreign patients to undergo transplantation, which was subsequently approved by the Philippine Board of Organ Donation and Transplantation (PBODT).

"Assuming that altruism is the only reason for the PBODT and NTEC's recommendation, may I suggest that it is but right that they each give one of their kidneys to these foreigners before they ask others to do so," Cabral said in a statement Monday.

"Their good example should influence many others to do the same. That happening, the DoH should find it easy to get a host of affluent individuals, along with the [poor people], to donate their kidneys too," she said.

She also dared transplant surgeons and other experts and physicians involved in kidney transplantation to perform such altruistic act.

"Then, we shall have no problem providing kidneys to all Filipinos with renal failure who want a transplant [and] we may even be able to spare some for foreigners," she said.

Cabral issued such biting statement also as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee against Trafficking, which has been mandated to protect the poor and the disadvantaged and to ensure that the law against human trafficking was implemented.

She reiterated that Republic Act 9208 (the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) made selling or importing of human organs by means of fraud, deception and abuse of power punishable by jail terms of at least 20 years plus stiff fines.

Filipinos in dire need of cash have been the usual victims of an illegal harvesting kidney-harvesting network operating in various parts of the country. Most of the time, these poor Filipinos are being duped into selling their kidneys for a meager amount.

Asia Against Child Trafficking, a nonprofit group advocating for an absolute ban on kidney trade, earlier reported that Filipinos are the cheapest source of kidneys in the global black market for human organs, selling them for a measly $1,500.

Read the full article

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:04 AM

    paano naman kasi, mahirap talaga dito sa pinas. Kung pwede nga lang, magbenta din akoi ng kidney ko para makakain or in exchage for work abroad.