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'CNN Kidney Report Misleading’
« on: November 08, 2007, 02:33:36 AM »
Sheila Crisostomo
The Philstar

A government doctor branded yesterday as “misleading and erroneous” an American television news report that the Philippines is legalizing commercial kidney donors.

Dr. Reynaldo Lesaka, in charge of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute’s (NKTI) Human Organ Preservation Efforts (HOPE), said CNN “edited” his interview to serve its “agenda.”

“The interview was done two months ago,” he told The STAR.

“I saw the report and it was really slanted. It was edited wrongly. I was taken out of context. I was really dismayed and my friends who were able to watch CNN texted me. They were also shocked,”

Lesaka said he explained to CNN that the government and stakeholders are now in the process of “fine-tuning” the country’s policy on organ donation to prevent the procedure from being commercialized.

In most cases, organ donors are being double-crossed, receiving less than the amount they have been promised, he added.

Lesaka said to stop the commercialization of organ donation, the Department of Health is reviewing its existing administrative order on the practice through a public hearing and consultation with stakeholders.

There are proposals to require each foreign patient who will receive kidneys from Filipinos to shoulder the transplant operation of Filipino patients who cannot afford the procedure, he added.

Lesaka said when the government comes up with a new AO, it would put in place a “donor protection” system to safeguard donors against exploitation and abuses.

“We won’t allow the buying and selling of organs,” he said.

“But we want to have some sort of protection package for donors in terms of livelihood, lifetime health insurance and (compensation) for lost productivity.”

There would be a “national registry” for organ recipients and donors to ensure that the procedure is regulated, Lesaka said.     


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