Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group - Report from Buenos Aires 2011


DICG members met in Buenos Aires to discuss DOI progress and future plans.

The Declaration of Istanbul (DOI) has been adopted and endorsed all over the world—more than 110 organisations have examined the declaration and decided that it meets their needs to assist in the appropriate protection of living donors and the enhancement of transplantation activity.

To ensure that the DOI principles become realities in practice, the DOI is supported by working groups of committed individuals, organized under the umbrella of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG). In practical terms, the working groups oversee a series of important activities that uphold the DOI principles. This means that referees consider the principles of the DOI in their assessment of papers submitted to journals on a transplantation subject, grant funding agencies consider the origin of organs when assessing for funding, pharmaceutical companies ensure that the clinical research programs they contract or support do not abuse the living donors, institutional review boards have guidelines to which they may turn when considering a specialist transplantation protocol, and organizers of meetings ensure that all presenters uphold the principles of DOI. These activities do not happen in these various environments automatically, or simply, or quickly. There is much work to be done to sustain the efforts: the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group is putting in the effort.

The DICG met in November 2011 in Buenos Aires, just before the International Society of Organ Donation and Procurement congress. The group discussed the progress of the DOI over the past year and concentrated on each of the working groups’ plans for the next year. As examples of planned activities, we are hoping to encourage more journal editors to take up the DOI overtly in their author instructions and advice to referees. This would help to establish more regular reporting of activities that support the DOI by national organizations, and to develop methods by which to overtly document the outcomes of both best and poor practices in different regions. Working with the infrastructures of The Transplantation Society (TTS) and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN), the DICG continues its work to improve global practices in transplantation. Ultimately, our intention is to provide a handbook of the DOI for people in different environments and different professions so that those formal groups or societies that have endorsed the DOI can have a simple guide and set of tools to help them implement specific activities. Through sharing what others have implemented successfully, we hope to impact practices in a sustainable way. Watch this space for further news of our progress.