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Legislation forthcoming to outlaw organ trafficking & regulate organ donation

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A release from the Ministry of Public Health today said Guyana will soon draft legislation to outlaw commercial human organ harvesting, transplant tourism and organ trafficking which is very attractive on the lucrative but illegal global market.

University of Calgary Professor Serdar Yilmaz who will visit Guyana this month will meet with local stakeholders to continue discussions leading to fine tuning the content of the draft legislation.

The legislation will set the rules which define the precise circumstances and mechanisms under which organs of a deceased person can be donated.

Yilmaz, Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) officials and the representatives of the Attorney General’s Chambers are scheduled for further talks to help Guyana develop legislation to regulate Brain and Cardio/Respiratory Death Law and organ Transplantation Law.

This is expected to guarantee donor and recipient safety and prohibit unethical practices such as transplant tourism, commercial organ harvesting sales and organ trafficking for the lucrative black market.

While in Guyana Professor Yilmaz will be performing 5 kidney transplant surgeries on Guyanese patients.  This surgery is done free at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Illegal organ harvesting has been linked to the equally notorious trafficking in persons (TIP) global business. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that patients in the United States of America (USA) can pay as much as US$70,000 to over US$160,000 for a transplant package.

According to the Ministry, Professor Yilmaz was a key figure behind the establishing of Guyana’s public kidney transplant programme and advancing the Nephrology and Dialysis Unit at the GPHC. The Unit benefits patients diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) requiring permanent dialysis.

During their stay, Yilmaz and his team will also do a need assessment to improve systems in the department of the GPHC.

Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence has lauded the work of ProfessorYilmaz and pledged Government’s commitment to ensuring that the legislation and necessary regulations are on the local statute books.

 

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