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 New Cases of Organ Trafficking

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Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: New Cases of Organ Trafficking   Thu May 22, 2008 10:15 am

From: "Amihan Abueva" <amihanabueva@gmail.com>
To: roland.ng@reuters.com, Cecil.Morella@afp.com
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 09:51:02 +0800
Subject: New Cases of Organ Trafficking: Foreigners continue to receive transplants from Filipinos


Dear friends,


I regret to inform you that I have just received information today that this morning, a foreigner, most likely from Israel, is scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from a Filipino, at the National Kidney Transplant Institute.

This is in spite the Official Announcement made by the DOH on April 24, 2008, with the headline "DOH OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE TOTAL BAN ON FOREIGN TRANSPLANTS, which stated that "In consonance with the presidential directive by Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arrroyo, the Department of Health (DOH) today is announcing a TOTAL BAN on foreign transplants. Under this directive, all foreigners are banned from accessing organs from Filipino donors."

How has it become possible for this change in policy, the allowing of foreigners to avail of transplants from Filipinos, in only 23 days?

First, the wording in the Revised AO 20008 - 004 (there are two AOs with the same date and signatories) was revised to read "Guidelines and Limitations concerning foreign patients shalll be formulated by the Philipine Network for Organ Donation and Transplantation (PhilNETDAT) and approved by the Board (PBDODT).

Secondly, The PBDODT passed a resolution No. 2008-02, still in April (no date indicated in copy) saying

"WHEREAS, ethical guidelines drafted for this purpose states that foreigners are elegible to receive professional medical care including organ transplantation in the Philippines provided the donor is his/her relatives and that he/she can also receive an organ from deceased Filipino donor provided no Filipino recipient is found following six hours of serious attempts to find one."

NOW, THEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Board hereby resolves that while the hilippine Government is still in the process od setting up the system to ensure the protection of kidney donors, foreigners are not allowed to access Filipino living non-related donors (LNRD's).

This resolution was signed by only five persons, four of them with clear vested interests in allowing transplants for foreigners to continue: Dr. Dennis Serrano (Philippine Society of Transplant Surgeons), Dr. Marcelino Morales (Philippine Urological Association), Dr. Enrique Ona (NKTI), Dr. Thelma Clemente (Capitol Medical Center) and the fifth signatory is Dr. Angeles Tan-Alora, Chairman, National Transplant Ethic Committee.


It sometimes or oftentimes takes up to 24 hours to find a Filipino recipient for cadaver organ, so this new policy practically means that it will be again foreigners who will be benefiting from an increased effort to promote cadaver organ donation.

(For your information, urologists are the ones who actually remove the kidneys, Dr. Ona is the leading transplant surgeon and mentor of many of the transplant surgeons, and NKTI and Capitol Medical Center are among the hospitals that should receive Cease and Desist Orders from the DOH for breaking the previous rules on the 10 per cent cap on foreign transplants.)

Then, the National Ethics Transplant Committee, after meeting on May 9, made a statement that "resolves that ....3. we consider the reviewed cases of .... (eight foreigners) ... therefore, they should be returned to the HOPE waiting list and be given an opportunity to receive either a deceased or living non-related kidney following the rules of the AO at the time of their registration..."

Very interestingly, the resolution makes no mention of the potential harm to the LNRDs who might become the source of the kidneys.

So, according to information received, transplantations at the NKTI are done in the morning, and the recipient (one of the eight) is already confined to the NKTI in preparation for the operation.

Please, I urgently request you to kindly follow up the issue to prevent more Filipinos from being victimized.


Several issues remain unresolved:


1. There is an urgent need to develop a complete list of Filipino organ providers (LNRDs) in order to ensure proper medical care and attention and other services as provided by RA 9208, and to assist those who would like to file criminal and civil cases of trafficking against the whole chain or perpetrators, from the local recruiters up to the hospitals and urologists, transplant surgeons, hospitals and foreign brokers involved in the whole transaction, not just direct cases toward the local recruiters.


2. We need to see what actual sanctions, such as copies of the CEASE and DESIST ORDERS to the surgeons and hospitals who have blatantly violated the previous AO of the DOH, in the 10% cap on foreign transplants. Up to now, the DOH Secretary has mentioned this in his press statements but has failed to show any real evidence of significant and truly punitive sanctions against the erring hospitals and surgeons.


3. The total ban directed by Pres. GMA should be implemented and all attempts to circumvent this by the DOH and its created bodies such as the PhilNETDAT, PBDODT and the National Ethics Committee should be resisted and exposed. This includes Filipino LNRDs and cadaver organs. Since these are foreigners, it is beyond our capacity to really prove whether the so-called relatives that they might bring from abroad are really their relatives, so again, we might become a haven for international organ trafficking.


4. The composition of these regulatory bodies should be reviewed to ensure that vested interests do not prevail.


5. There should be complete transparency and accountability from the hospitals, surgeons and the so-called charitable foundations attached to the hospitals receiving funds from foreign and local recipients, to show how much has been amassed ever since these hospitals have been involved in doing foreign transplants, who and how many indigent Filipino recipients have actually benefitted, how much was actually spent to help Filipino indigent patients.


6. The attempt to camouflage the sale of organs by calling this is as "GRATUITY" should immediately be stopped!


All the best,


Amihan V. Abueva
Regional Coordinator
Asia ACTs Against Child Trafficking



PS. For a complete set of the relevant documents, please contact the PSN office or Dr. Benita Padilla +639178354808





-

Asia ACTs Against Child Trafficking
Rm. 312
Philippine Social Science Center Building, Commonwealth Avenue
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. (63-2) 9290822
Fax: (63-2) 9290820
Email: asiaacts@pldtdsl.net
Website: www.stopchildtrafficking.info



--
Asia ACTs Against Child Trafficking
Rm. 312
Philippine Social Science Center Building, Commonwealth Avenue
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. (63-2) 9290822
Fax: (63-2) 9290820
Email: asiaacts@pldtdsl.net
Website: www.stopchildtrafficking.info
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