A price tag for human organs

Source: The Star Online

A new Act aimed at stopping the illegal organ trade involving Malaysian patients is currently being studied by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The new Bill will have deterrent elements that will criminalise any organ trading and trafficking with clear penalties. – Datuk Dr Ghazali Ahmad, who is Hospital Kuala Lumpur nephrology department head and senior consultant.

DISHEARTENED by the prospect of a long wait for a transplant, kidney patient Simon (not his real name) decided to take a chance on a deal to get the organ in China.

Paying a significant amount of money to a third party, the 50-year-old businessman flew to China and was checked into a facility for eight days.

“I lived in fear of being discovered. I could not sleep,” he says of his time there, as such unregulated private transplants are illegal in China.

The operation was a success, says Simon, and he is currently on a course of anti-rejection drugs that costs him a few thousand ringgit a month.

Asked what made him resort to such drastic measures, he says he might have had to wait years for a transplant through regular channels in Malaysia; furthermore, he is already 50 and is not a preferred candidate for an organ compared with younger patients, he says.

Simon is not alone in taking such chances.

Desperate for a new lease of life, Malaysians in need of organ transplants are resorting to getting them in countries like China and India, and they are willing to pay through their nose for them – doling out up to RM500,000 for the part and the necessary surgery. Read more