Organ trafficking and transplant tourism: the role of global professional ethical standards-the 2008 Declaration of Istanbul

Transplantation. 2013 Jun 15;95(11):1306-12. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318295ee7d.


By 2005, human organ trafficking, commercialization, and transplant tourism had become a prominent and pervasive influence on transplantation therapy. The most common source of organs was impoverished people in India, Pakistan, Egypt, and the Philippines, deceased organ donors in Colombia, and executed prisoners in China. In response, in May 2008, The Transplantation Society and the International Society of Nephrology developed the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism consisting of a preamble, a set of principles, and a series of proposals. Promulgation of the Declaration of Istanbul and the formation of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group to promote and uphold its principles have demonstrated that concerted, strategic, collaborative, and persistent actions by professionals can deliver tangible changes. Over the past 5 years, the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group organized and encouraged cooperation among professional bodies and relevant international, regional, and national governmental organizations, which has produced significant progress in combating organ trafficking and transplant tourism around the world. At a fifth anniversary meeting in Qatar in April 2013, the DICG took note of this progress and set forth in a Communiqué a number of specific activities and resolved to further engage groups from many sectors in working toward the Declaration's objectives.

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Colombia
  • Egypt
  • Ethics, Professional*
  • Humans
  • India
  • International Cooperation*
  • Medical Tourism / ethics*
  • Medical Tourism / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Organ Transplantation / ethics*
  • Organ Transplantation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Societies, Medical
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / ethics*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Turkey