Transplant tourism and the Iranian model of renal transplantation program: ethical considerations.Exp Clin Transplant. 2005 Dec; 3(2):351-4.EC
Currently, the buying and selling of kidneys through "transplant tourism" is occurring at an increasing rate, both in developed and developing countries. Since 1988, Iran has adopted a compensated and regulated living-unrelated donor renal transplant program, and by providing financial incentives to volunteer living donors, has eliminated the renal transplant waiting list. In the Iranian model of renal transplantation program, regulations have been put in place to prevent transplant tourism. Foreigners are not allowed to undergo renal transplantation from Iranian living-unrelated donors. They also are not permitted to volunteer as kidney donors for Iranian patients. A study at the transplant unit of Hashemi Nejad Kidney Hospital in Tehran, Iran, showed that of 1881 renal transplant recipients, 19 (1%) were Afghani or Iraqi refugees, 11 (0.6%) were other foreign nationals, and 18 (0.9%) were Iranian immigrants. Renal transplantations seemed ethically acceptable to all refugees and foreign nationals. However, transplantation of Iranian immigrants who had been residing abroad for years constituted true transplant tourism.