Author(s): Saeed B
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Abstract Liver transplant is the criterion standard for patients with end-stage liver disease. Yet there is no liver transplant in Syria. Traveling abroad for a liver transplant is a luxury few Syrians can afford. There is currently an on-going debate whether to start a liver transplant program using living or deceased donors. In 2003, a new law was enacted, authorizing the use of organs from volunteer strangers and deceased donors. Despite the positive aspects of this law (allowing unrelated donors to increase the number of transplants in the country); the negative aspects also were obvious. The poor used the law to sell their organs to the rich, and this model is in violation of the Istanbul Declaration. To better document transplant communities' perceptions on organ donation, an e-mail survey was sent to a nationally representative sample of physicians (n = 115) that showed that 58\% of respondents did not support the start of liver transplant from live donors, as they fear a considerable risk for the donor and the recipient. Seventy-one percent of respondents believe that unrelated kidney donation has contributed to tarnishing the reputation of transplant, and 56\% believe that a deceased-donor program can run in parallel with unrelated organ donations. The interest in deceased-donor program has been affected negatively by the systematic approach of using poor persons as the source of the organ. This lack of interest has affected starting a liver program that relies on deceased donors; especially the need for kidneys is more than livers. Health authorities in Syria were inclined to initiate a liver transplant program from live donors, despite the risks of serious morbidities and mortality. In conclusion then, paid kidney donation in actual effect is actually a hindrance to establishing a deceased-donor liver program.
This article was published in Exp Clin Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Tourism & Hospitality