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Thursday 24th May 2018

Private transplants to be banned by government

31st July 2009

The government has said it is banning the private transplants of organs from deceased donors in the UK.


The decision follows news that patients outside the UK paid to be put on waiting lists for organs from British donors.

According to an independent inquiry by Elizabeth Buggins, the prior chairwoman of the Organ Donation Taskforce, over 700 organ transplants had been performed on patients living outside the UK in the last ten years.

631 transplants were carried out using organs from deceased donors and 341 involved transplants from beyond the European Union.

Although the report said the allocation of the organs was not wrong, it stated that patients should not be capable of making private payments for transplants.

It added that the health service needed to be more careful when it decided which patients were eligible to receive transplants under EU law.

Elisabeth Buggins said the inquiry wanted to ensure the availability of organs for more UK patients.

"While I found no evidence of wrongdoing in the way organs are allocated to patients, there is a perception that private payments may unfairly influence access to transplant, so they must be banned," she said.

"Confidence in the transplant system should increase once money is removed from the equation, decisions are transparent and accountability clear; confidence we know is necessary if the number of organ donors is to rise to match the best in Europe."

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