Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group
In 2010, the leaders of the parent organizations of the Declaration of Istanbul (DOI), The Transplantation Society (TTS) and The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) formed the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG), empowering the DICG to promote and sustain the DOI. A strategic plan of accomplishment by 2018 (the 10th Anniversary of the DOI) was developed to implement programs that could combat organ trafficking.
The DICG identified proper travel for transplantation as a topic of high priority. The DOI defines travel for transplantation as ‘the movement of organs, donors, recipients, or transplant professionals across jurisdictional borders for transplantation purposes’. The DOI further suggests that travel for transplantation becomes transplant tourism - and ethically unacceptable - if ‘it involves organ trafficking and/or transplant commercialism or if the resources (organs, professionals, and transplant centres) devoted to providing transplants to patients from outside a country undermine the country’s ability to provide transplant services for its own population’.
The workshop addressed travel for transplantation from two complementary perspectives:
- A Prospective Review Process of proper travel for transplantation when a patient indicates the intent to travel to a foreign destination for organ transplantation.
- A Retrospective Process to consider when a patient returns to their native country for medical care after they received a transplant in a foreign destination.
The DICG is in the midst of the preparation of the concrete and highly needed procedural guidelines and recommendations arising from this event.