David Shoebridge, member of the Upper House in NSW, Australia, is seeking broad consultation with members of the medical community, general community and other stakeholders in relation to the proposed transplant law reform. The law reform could highlight the injustice of the global organ trade. The comprehensive consultation paper lists details of the reform. The deadline for taking the survey and submitting comments has been extended until March 7, 2013.
David Shoebridge has recently also expressed his views on the proposed transplant law in a media interview.
On February 28, 2012, NSW Greens MP Jamie Parker expressed his understanding and stated:
“Most countries have laws prohibiting both the sale and forced removal of human organs, however there are a number of countries where the practice continues to be widespread. This includes countries in our region such as the People’s Republic of China. There are reports from international advocates that forcible organ harvesting has been ongoing in China for decades, particularly targeting vulnerable people such as prisoners and minority ethnic and religious groups. People are able to visit countries where forced organ harvesting occurs, in order to receive a life-saving transplant. This creates a shocking and unacceptable global trade in human organs, resulting in appalling and ongoing human rights abuses.
One way of addressing this brutal trade is for countries such as Australia to impose prohibitions on its citizens and residents from receiving trafficked organs, wherever the transplant occurs. The Greens are currently considering law reform to create specific offenses of receiving harvested or trafficked organs within NSW or overseas. This law reform would highlight the injustice of the global organ trade, while reducing the likelihood of Australians travelling overseas to participate in it. We would hope that such a prohibition should also serve to emphasise the need to improve organ donation rates in Australia and NSW.
We have consulted broadly with the public, members of the medical community and other stakeholders in relation to this proposed reform and will be collating and presenting the findings for further debate.”