UK to ban private transplants
The government says it will ban all private transplants of organs from dead donors in the UK, reported BBC.
The move comes after media reports of overseas patients paying to receive organs donated by British people.
An independent report said that, as organs are scarce, no one should be able to pay for organ transplants to ensure NHS patients did not miss out,
Transplant surgeons said the ban would reassure the public that organs will go to those in greatest need.
Elisabeth Buggins, former chairwoman of the Organ Donation Taskforce, carried out an inquiry after allegations in a number of newspapers that organs from NHS donors were being given to patients from countries such as Greece and Italy.
It emerged that more than 700 transplants, mostly liver transplants, had been carried out on non-UK patients over the past decade.
In total, 631 of those transplants used organs from dead donors and, of those, 314 were from outside the EU.
It is not clear how many of those paid privately.
The inquiry found no evidence of wrongdoing in how organs were allocated to these patients, but concluded that in the interests of fairness no one should be able to pay for such operations.
It also says that rules should be tightened on which EU citizens are entitled to transplants on the NHS.
Under EU law, some patients can receive treatment in other countries, if approved by their healthcare system, which then foots the bill.
But the NHS needs to be more cautious when checking eligibility under these rules and it is likely that there are patients currently receiving treatment who should be refused, Mrs Buggins said.
She also recommended that the NHS works with other countries in the EU to develop their own transplant programmes.
And any reciprocal arrangements with transplant networks in other countries need to be reviewed, she advised.
Surgeons will still be able to carry out private work using organs from living donors, for example with kidney transplants and some liver transplants.