The globalization of health care and the growth of "transplant tourism" (traveling abroad to purchase donor organs and undergo organ transplantation) have outpaced the implementation of internationally accepted ethical standards for procurement of organs for transplantation.
A new article appearing in Clinical Transplantation finds that both U.S. and foreign transplant physicians expressed serious concern about organ procurement practices in China, and that this concern influenced their patient care decisions. The study is the first to assess how the perceptions of healthcare providers on transplant tourism may influence domestic patient care decisions.
Globalization of medical and surgical technology has increased the capacity for countries worldwide to perform organ transplantation. Unfortunately, dramatic geographic variation in the availability of organs for transplantation and a parallel discrepancy in financial resources for healthcare have increasingly led desperate patients to transplant tourism. Organ procurement in China has been especially criticized for its reliance on executed prisoners as donors.