The current forum discussion on PRI/BBC The World is Tackling the Global Organ Shortage. This week’s guest is Dr. Mustafa Al-Mousawi, past president of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation. Listen to the podcast and ask Dr. Al-Mousawi questions in the forum. He’ll be checking in and responding throughout the week:
Worldwide, there is a dire shortage of organs for transplantation.
In the United States alone, more than 100,000 people are waiting for new hearts, lungs and kidneys. Many of these patients will die waiting.
Frustrated, some patients turn to a global black market in organs.
To tackle the organ shortage, countries are experimenting with various strategies.
Israel just enacted a new law to boost the number of donors. The law favors donors over non-donors when it comes to receiving an organ. And some Americans are pushing a controversial solution – legalizing the buying and selling of organs.
Iran is already doing that. The Iranian government gives every kidney donor $1200 and one year of free health care. This system has increased the availability of organs, but at what price?
We spoke about the Iranian law with transplant surgeon Dr. Mustafa Al-Mousawi, past president of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation.
He argues that the Iranian system may have reduced the organ shortage, but it is unfair to the donors, who are often poor and underprivileged.