DICG meets Pope Francis Featured

popeOn September 19, 2014, representatives from the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) met with Pope Francis in the Vatican City. This private audience was arranged by the Mayor of Rome to derive support for the principles of the Declaration of Istanbul (DOI). DICG has been invited to submit a reference document that Pope Francis will use in a pronouncement to be widely reported in 2015.

In 2008, ISN and the Transplantation Society (TTS) worked on preparing content for the Istanbul Declaration on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism. Their efforts culminated in the Declaration being finalized at the International Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. DICG’s mission is to curtail these practices and promote ethical donation and transplantation throughout the world.

Only 10% of the needed 1 million transplants are performed each year. Organ trafficking continues in China, South East Asia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, with recipients coming from Canada, the US, Western European countries, Australia, and the Gulf countries. Organ trafficking has now made its way to Latin America. During the meeting an extensive report by Kevin Sack in the NY Times was brought to the Pope’s attention.

In the US, there is a movement to enable cash payments/benefits/college tuitions/tax credits/retirement benefits as a way of enticing the young to be compensated for their organs. DICG opposes that direction and needs support of Pope Francis to ensure that the US Congress will not amend the law prohibiting organ commercialization.  Financial incentives are to be distinguished from removing financial disincentives and rendering the donor at a monetary loss.

A seminal legal tool has just been adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe – a Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs. Wide support to this Convention will help national legislations to be aligned for prosecuting these illegal practices.

Curtailing organ trafficking requires increasing organ availability and understanding donation as a gesture of social responsibility. Donation has been successfully developed in Croatia and Spain, based on a principle of community. DICG is now promoting the model of Croatia throughout South Eastern Europe.

For further information about the DICG, CLICK HERE.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 09:04

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