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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Singapore considers legalizing kidney trade FROM The International Herald Tribune

SINGAPORE: Singapore is considering legalizing the kidney trade to help meet the demand for transplants, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said Monday.

The Health Ministry will examine the feasibility of providing payments to unrelated donors to augment the supply of kidneys, Khaw said in Parliament, acknowledging that the suggestion has stirred debate.

"We should not reject any idea just because it is radical or controversial," Khaw said. "We may be able to find an acceptable way to allow a meaningful compensation for some living, unrelated kidney donors, without breaching ethical principles or hurting the sensitivities of others."

Khaw said the ministry would review possible changes to legislation to allow payments for donations from third parties such as those from the charity and religious sectors. The proposal would need to be approved by Parliament to become law.

"There are desperate patients out there wishing to live and desperately poor people willing to exchange a kidney for a hopefully improved life," he said.

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