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China and Pakistan: Organs

Department of Health written question – answered on 15th February 2017.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has made to the Governments of (a) Pakistan and (b) China on the trafficking of human organs from those countries; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nicola Blackwood Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

There has been no representation made to the Government of Pakistan. This issue was last raised at the United Kingdom/China human rights dialogue on 27 October 2016. The Government supports the establishment of lawful and ethical organ donation and transplantation programmes to address the world-wide shortage of organs for transplant and a range of action to discourage organ trafficking, transplant tourism and commercialism. The UK formally signed the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs on 25 March 2015 and has laws and protocols in place to ensure well-regulated practice to prevent organ trafficking in the UK.

The Government supports the Declaration of Istanbul, which encourages all countries to draw up legal and professional frameworks to govern organ donation and transplantation activities. We have also participated in the development of the World Health Organization Guiding Principles to ensure that human material removed from deceased and living donors for the purpose of transplantation only takes place according to agreed ethical principles.

Patients receiving transplants outside the UK will be subject to the relevant regulatory regime in place and should be aware of the risks, including possible prosecution for non-compliance with relevant local and international provisions, poor donor care, poorer graft survival, infection and in extreme cases, death.

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