BMA warns against live donor legalisation

The British Medical Association (BMA) has warned against legalising the sale of organs from live donors, highlighting a raft of potential problems. While the medical establishment has rejected calls for its legalisation, some doctors have pressed for a change, arguing that thousands of lives could be saved by offering money to donors.

Speaking on Channel Four's "Evening News" programme, the head of health policy at the BMA, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, denied that changing the laws governing organ donors would stop the black market trade in donations. She said: "The problem is that whenever you have these kinds of markets, regulation doesn't work completely, you end up with an illegal market as well."

Dr Nathanson continued: "Secondly, the people who would be persuaded to give organs for money are people who are financially desperate and that nearly always means in a international market, the poorest people and the poorest countries."

 (c) 1998-2003 DeHavilland Information Services plc. All rights reserved.

 British Medcial Association