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Last year (ended in March) 2,500 Iranians had kidney transplants.
Last year (ended in March) 2,500 Iranians had kidney transplants.

Opinion Divided on Live Donor Kidney Transplants

Experts like Professor Behrouz Boroumand, the founder and pioneer of kidney disease treatment (nephrology) in the Middle East, believe the practice of receiving organs from unknown donors should be banned, and organs should only be received from deceased
The current donor program where outsiders or non-relatives can donate a kidney, is helping save many lives

Opinion Divided on Live Donor Kidney Transplants

The practice of buying a kidney from a living donor is legal in Iran and regulated by the government. According to Mohammad Kazemeini, head of the Organ Transplant Management Center at the Health Ministry, last year (ended in March) 2,500 Iranians had kidney transplants.
According to a survey, in 2010, a total of 2,285 kidney transplants took place in the country, of which 1,690 kidneys were from volunteers and 595 from those declared brain-dead.
In Iran a person needing a kidney is referred to the Dialysis and Transplant Patients Association, which matches those needing a kidney with a potential healthy adult donor, who may not necessarily be related to the patient. The government pays for the surgery, while the donor gets health coverage for at least one year and reduced rates on health insurance for years after that from state-run hospitals.
The association receives no payment for brokering such services. It helps negotiate whatever financial compensation the donor receives, usually the equivalent of $4,500. It also helps determine when Iranian charities or wealthy individuals can come into the picture to cover the costs for those who can’t afford to pay for a kidney, reports salamatnews.com.
“The payment to donors is ‘not technically to buy the kidney’, but rather as compensation for the pain and suffering of undergoing a major surgery,” said Hashem Qasemi, head of the association.  
“However some donors do have a financial motive. We can’t say they don’t, just as some people have charitable motivations,” he stressed.

  Only Country Allowing Live Donor Organs
Iran currently is the only country in the world that allows buying kidney by paying compensation to the living donor; consequently, there is no long waiting list or a shortage of organs in contrast to western nations, where tens of thousands hope for an organ and thousands die waiting each year.
While the World Health Organization first declared in 1991 that living donors ‘in general should be genetically related to the recipient’, it advised in 2010 that ‘living donors should be genetically, legally or emotionally related to their recipients’.
In Iran there is a difference of opinion on whether kidney donations should be allowed from unrelated donors.
The recent report about a 78-year old Iranian-American man, who received a kidney from a 23-year old Iranian on payment for $7,000 during his visit to Iran, created quite a stir.
Some experts like Professor Behrouz Boroumand, the founder and pioneer of kidney disease treatment (nephrology) in the Middle East, believe the practice of receiving organs from unknown donors should be banned and organs should be only received from deceased donors or relatives, but others don’t agree.
Kidneys from a living donor have a significantly better long-term survival rate than from deceased donors which work only for three to five years, said Saeed Mousavi, a board member of the Iranian Society for Protection of Kidney Patients.
Last year, from among the 8,000 people confirmed as brain dead by hospitals, only 1,400 kidneys were donated while annually around 2500 patients are in need of kidney transplants. If the current donor program where outsiders or non-relatives can make a kidney donation is banned, then what will happen to patients who are in dire need of kidneys, is the question. The program is helping save many lives, the relevant officials say.
However, the organizations and authorities involved should ensure that organ donation should not become the subject of trade in human parts, such as kidneys and liver which are commonly traded, or develop into a network of organized crime.
It is common knowledge that the commercial trade in human organs, including trafficking in persons for organ removal has become a huge global problem. It takes a toll on mostly the poorer sections of the people who fall victim to the temptations of ‘large amounts of money’ offered by transnational criminal networks dealing in human body parts.

 

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