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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Druckformat: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2012005328
pages 295-304

Ethics of Global Organ Trade

Amit Chattopadhyay
Quest Arete Science, OK, USA
La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia
School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, India
Sharmila Chatterjee
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, The George Washington University, Washington DC 20037; Sharmila Chatterjee's Analytical Science Initiative (SCASI), Gaithersburg, MD 20877


The need for organs used in organ transplant is much higher than supply. At this time, humans are the only source of organs that can supply organs needed for transplant recipients. Regulatory oversight of organ transplantation is developing across the world. However, due to the availability of necessary surgical skills and rampant poverty in the world, many people are trapped into selling their organs−mostly in the grey market−leading to an increasing problem of illegal organ trade. In this context, critical ethical issues arise, such as trading human organs in return for money. This leads to its commodification and subsequently development of an organized criminal black market distorting a naive assumption that humans would use any critical opportunity with altruistic intentions. This article discusses the ethics of global organ trade and the role of regulation in it from the standpoint of donors, recipients and regulatory authorities.

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