Egypt to curb organ trafficking2nd March 2010
Egypt's parliament has passed a law that aims to limit the country's organ trafficking.
The country's poor are often exploited for their organs, and some are even forced to donate organs.
By banning organ transplants between Egyptians and foreigners, the new law also aims to block tourists from seeking trafficked organs.
In developing countries, there is a thriving black market for organ theft from living and dead individuals.
Egypt's new law places extreme limitations on the people who can receive transplants in state-financed government hospitals.
It bans all transplant exchanges between foreigners, except in the case of husbands and wives.
It also makes allowances for government-funded transplants between dead people and patients who need organs.
About 42,000 people in Egypt need organ transplants, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Every year, hundreds of impoverished Egyptians sell their kidneys and livers.
When the law was still being drafted, the WHO applauded its preliminary approval.
Hussein Jezairi, WHO regional director, said that the law created hope for thousands of patients who had been waiting for life-saving transplant operations.
The bill was not without its detractors, prior to passing.
The law's definition of 'death' was controversial, since it relied on tests made in the presence of three people from the health ministry.
According to the new law, if people are caught removing organs from a body that has not been approved as 'dead,' they will be considered murderers and judged accordingly.
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