Organ Trafficking?

There is an interesting piece in the Jerusalem Post:

"Sammy Shem-Tov, 67, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of facilitating deals in which patients received organs donated by Israelis who agreed to sell them."

The article goes on to say that Sammy solicited organs for sick patients, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars per transplant.  The claim is that only a fraction of the money went to the donors.

Having been through the legal process, I'm happy that he has been stopped.  I don't personally think that paying for an organ donation is necessarily wrong.  The big problem is that the financial incentives lead to donations from people who are not perfectly healthy (either physically or otherwise).  Furthermore, this system does not provide ongoing support for the transplant donors.

The existing legal mechanism is slow and insufficient, but it does make sure that donors are at a very very minimal risk.  It also provides for follow up medical support to the donors.

The root of the problem is that there are insufficient donors of any type.  People like Sammy are trying to help, but they are playing God, taking organs from donors who may not be appropriate.


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