Canada: Bill to combat – underground trade in human organs and body parts

MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj introduces bill to combat underground trade in human
organs and body parts

Ottawa – Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre) introduced Bill C-500,
a Private Member’s Bill that would address the trafficking of human organs and
other body parts. This comprehensive piece of legislation embraces a number
of principles:

1. it makes it illegal to obtain organs or body parts from unwilling donors
or as part of a financial transaction;

2. it establishes a list of individuals barred from Canada due to their involvement
in this trade;

3. it places the onus on those involved in this industry and recipients of
organs to certify that the organ or body parts have been legally obtained;

4. as in the case of child sex tourism, this legislation embraces extraterritoriality,
making such a crime chargeable in Canada notwithstanding the fact that it may
have occurred outside of our jurisdiction;

5. it compels the Canadian government to establish a list of Canadians who
have been legal recipients of organs or body parts;

6. it compels medical practitioners to report patients to the agency that maintains
this list to verify the legality of organ or body part transfers, and

7. it provides for consequences to those engaged in this trafficking equal
to the horror of the crime they have been involved in.

Entitled An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking and transplanting human
organs and other body parts), Wrzesnewskyj’s Bill C-500 addresses the exploitation
of the vulnerable in developing countries or incarcerated by totalitarian regimes
whose healthy organs are purchased or extracted through coercion and sold for
use by the wealthy.

"This horrific underground industry in human organs and body parts is
the consequence of three global trends coinciding during the last decade: first,
the development of medical technology allowing the inexpensive transplantation
of virtually any body organ; second, the immense and increasing global disparities
in incomes; and finally, easy and accessible travel to any part of the globe.
Recent articles about the million dollar business of ‘Doctor Horror’ involved
in the illegal harvesting of kidneys of a possible 500 poor labourers in New
Delhi, India, and his Canadian connections, as well as the spotlight placed
on the illegal harvesting of organs of prisoners of conscience in China in the
2007 Matas-Kilgour report entitled Bloody Harvest underscore the urgent need
to address this modern horror. By enacting this legislation Canada will become
an international leader in combating the sinister underground trade in human
organs and body parts," stated Wrzesnewskyj.

The first part of Wrzesnewskyj’s bill makes it an indictable offence with a
minimum sentence of five years to a maximum of life imprisonment for anyone
involved in the removal of human organs or body parts without the donor’s consent,
or who participates in the sale or purchase of human organs or body parts. The
second part of the bill establishes a certification program and registration
process to ensure that organs are donated and that no money transactions occurred
for the procurement of an organ, either in Canada or abroad.

Posting date: 26/Feb/2008
Original article date: 06/Feb/2008
Category: Media Reports


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