Bishops ask for restrictions on organ trafficking in Philippines


Manila, Jan. 30, 2008 ( - The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are asking for stricter regulations on organ donations, the Reuters news service reports.

The worldwide market for human organs to be used in transplants has created a small but lucrative business for merchants who offer a modest fee to donors, then pocket a handsome profit on the sale of the organ. The organ merchants target impoverished individuals who will provide a kidney for about $1,000; the organ can then be sold for over $3,500.

The prospects of donating or receiving an organ have made the Philippines a popular site for "transplant tourism," the World Health Organization reports.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, the president of the Filipino bishops' conference, condemned the trafficking in human organs as "morally unacceptable." While supporting voluntary donation, he said that the procedure should never be done for profit and that human beings "cannot be treated as commodities."

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