DOI / DICG Update
The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) has led the initiative in the debate within the Unites States regarding financial incentives for organ donors by an open letter to the US Secretary of Health and by making the DICG position clear in the recent publication in the American Journal of Transplantation: The Living and Deceased Organ Donation Should Be Financially Neutral Acts.
The open letter to the US Secretary of Health was published in the first issue of Transplantation Direct calling upon the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a task force to address the decline in the number of living organ donors and the plateau of deceased organ donors in the United States by removing financial disincentives to living (and deceased) donation.
These DICG activities are consistent with a Strategic Plan of DICG that was developed at meetings of DICG Council in London and Cape Town, South Africa in 2015. The Strategic Plan identifies countries that DICG will target for intervention in combating organ trafficking. The factors considered in selecting countries for involvement include:
- an existing program that transplants organs into foreign patients and/or relies on vended organs for foreign or domestic patients;
- growing need for, and existence of, dialysis based upon increasing rates of end-stage organ failure and growing economic development;
- an existing relationship between the DICG and one or more transplant programs in the country; and
- the feasibility of engaging with the country, based upon an identified champion within the country with access to government.
DICG is continuing to respond with notice to health authorities when it receives reports of unethical or illegal transplant practices.
DICG has been instrumental in the progress of cessation of organs removed from executed prisoners in China. DICG made a report to the European Parliament regarding the recent developments that has China publicly proclaiming its intention to stop this unethical practice. Together with representatives from TTS, DICG participated in a national meeting in Guangzhou in August to address the development of an alternative infrastructure for a national and provincial organ donation agency.