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Transplant body stresses “zero tolerance” against organ trafficking 

Spain’s National Transplant Organisation has reiterated its position of zero tolerance against organ trafficking.

Their statement follows allegations in the press that a footballer had received a liver transplant through an illegal donation.

The ONT said it had started an internal investigation but it appeared that the donation and transplant process “was in accordance with current le-gislation and the usual clinical protocols in the field of living donor transplantation.”

However, the organisation took the opportunity to stress its stance on donations, saying: “The ONT recalls that Spain has been a pioneer in introducing into the Criminal Code organ trafficking as a crime punishable by up to 12 years in prison.”

“In the case of a living donation, the Spanish transplant system contemplates controls at three different levels precisely to guarantee that the donation of live, renal or hepatic is done under the ethical principles of altruism and total voluntariness.”

“A first control is performed by an independent medical team from which the organ will be extracted and sub-sequently transplanted.”

“A second control lies in the Hospital Ethics Commi-ttee that has to issue a positive or negative resolution of the donation on a case-by-case basis.”

“In the third instance, the donor, accompanied by a team doctor who will perform the extraction of the organ and the doctor who has evaluated the donor, meets with a judge, who has to authorise the donation and verify that it is going to be carried out without any kind of economic compensation or psychological pressure.”

“If in any of the three controls there is any doubt that the donation is not produced expressly, freely, disinterested, or that there may be some kind of economic benefit, the extraction of the organ is not performed and therefore the donation is paralysed.”