Researchers at the Erasmus teaching hospital EMC in Rotterdam are beginning a major project to investigate the illegal international trade in organs, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
There is an increasing amount of evidence that Dutch patients are also buying organs abroad and undergoing transplants, criminologist and lawyer Frederike Ambagtsheer told the paper, which did not give further details.
The research project, financed by the European Commission, will take three years.
‘We want to get a picture of the demand and supply sides in the organ trade and share this information with official investigators,’ Ambagtsheer said. ‘Our aim is not to drag patients to court or follow donors but to get the doctors, health insurance companies and others who facilitate the trade.’
The World Health Organisation estimates some 80,000 illegal kidney transplants take place every year.
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