By Zubeida Mustafa
THE love of money is the root of all evil. So we were told in the pre capitalist age. Now we are told the love of money is the root of all profits. And profit is king. This simple truth would explain why the bane of illicit organ trading is back with a bang. It is the money, stupid, as a shrewd cold blooded entrepreneur would explain.
Pakistan is fast re-emerging as the most bustling kidney bazaar in the world. And Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi, director of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, is a disenchanted man today. He was the one who spearheaded the 15-year struggle to get the government to enact a law to regulate organ transplantation in Pakistan – and succeeded. At one stage he believed that he had won his battle against the organ mafia that was exploiting the needs of our poor and had our legislators in its grip when India banned organ trafficking in 1994.
That was when the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Ordinance 2007 (passed by parliament later as an Act in 2010) created an infrastructural framework for organ transplantation that provided for ethical related transplant and deceased organ donation while banning unrelated commercial transplant. It forbade organ transplantation in foreigners.