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Knesset committee approves bill calling for criminal punishment for Israeli's citizens trafficking in organs.

Legislation that mandates criminal punishment for Israeli citizens who sell human organs for transplantation or serve as a middleman but would allow "reasonable compensation" for losses caused by donatings organ has been approved by a Knesset committee, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The bill, which was initiated by the Health Ministry, received the approval of a majority of the members of the Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee. Assuming the bill passes the plenum, Israel would join a long list of other countries that have passed similar laws and hopefully halt or greatly reduce the number of Israelis buying organs inside the country and abroad, according to the Post.

Another provision of the bill includes giving official recognition to Israel Transplant (the Israel Transplant Coordination Center affiliated with the Health Ministry), including the existing mechanism in which donations from living persons are approved by a ministry committee. The center is charged with ensuring that the donor and recipient are mentally healthy and preventing economic and medical abuse of the donor.

The bill also includes mechanisms for increasing deceased donation, including a provision that would give priority to receiving an order to people who sign a donor card or to a family that has agreed to donate the organs of a loved one. It also sanctions institutions to give benefits and gifts to the donors.
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Publication:Transplant News
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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