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Organs: Trade

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the extent of the illegal trade in human organs in the UK; and if he will make a statement. (175538)

We have no evidence of an illegal trade in human organs in the United Kingdom. The Human Tissue Act 2004 makes it an offence to give or receive a reward for the supply, or offer of human material for transplantation. Most importantly it makes trafficking in tissue and cells for transplantation liable to a fine, imprisonment or both. All potential living donors are assessed by a Human Tissue Authority (HTA) trained and accredited independent assessor, who is required to specifically look for evidence of coercion, payment and reward. The HTA must also be satisfied that there is no evidence of payment or reward and that consent has been given before it can approve the transplant and will prosecute cases of commercial dealing or trafficking.