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UK government seeks to add 6 million to donor registry by 2010; broker offering transplants via web site.

UK Health Minister Rosie Winterton has set a goal of adding 6 million British citizens to its Organ Donor Registry by 2010. There are currently 10.5 million in the registry and 6,000 people on the waiting list for an organ.

In 2002 there were 773 deceased donors who donated 2,644 organs. Winterton called the organ and tissue transplantation a major National Health Service success.

The drive to add new donors to the registry is part of a new Transplant Framework for England which sets out a 10 year strategy for encouraging Britons to agree to organ and tissue donation, according to a press release from the British Prime Minister's Office.

The growing donor shortage has led patients on the waiting list for an organ being lured to a Web site by a broker offering organ transplants for purchase, according to the Independent newspaper.

According to Organ Watch, a Berkeley, CA-based group which monitors worldwide organ trade, Britons are being offered organs in the Philippines on the Web site Liver4you.org. The going price for a Filipino kidney transplant is $1,300 and the operation is performed at a private hospital in Manila, the group said.

The cost of the operation or the surgeon's fee is not provided on the Web site, the Independent reported. However, it does note "patients will need $1,000 for the round-trip ticket, between $400 and $1,800 a month for accommodation and $200 for a pre-paid mobile phone, [and] the average wait for the operation is 2 weeks."

"I'm absolutely horrified and sickened. It shouldn't be allowed," said Elizabeth Ward, president of the British Kidney Patient Association.
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Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 25, 2003
Words:275
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