A new law in Iran could see the organs of convicts on death row pre-sold to buyers if the prisoners agree before their executions.

Reports suggested that under the new head of the Iranian judiciary, Ebrahim Raeesi, an article in the criminal justice laws has been included which says: “If a convict voluntarily offers his or her organ before or after execution and no medical obstacle is offered, then the judge can approve this in coordination with the ministry of justice and the coroners’ office.”

Iran’s Association of Surgeons has strongly condemned the move, describing it as “extremely worrying, damaging to our profession and the prestige of Iran in the eyes of the civilised world”.

Professor Ali Jafarian of the liver transplant unit at Khomeini hospital in Tehran, who is also a member of the American Society of Transplantation, told the semi-official ISNA news agency that no specialist surgeon in Iran would be prepared to follow the law as “it is immoral and against all the values of our profession”.

“Anyone sentenced to death would not be in a right frame of mind to ‘voluntarily’ offer their organs, unless they are forced to do so under immense pressure,” Dr Jafarian said. “Members of our association of surgeon will never abide by this law.”

There is a huge market in Iran for organ transplants due to the vast number of the country’s kidney, heart and liver patients. Thousands of people from Arab countries also visit Iran specifically for this purpose, spending millions of pounds at Iran’s private clinics. It is legal to sell organs in Iran.

According to Mrs. Katayoun Najafizadeh, the head of Iran’s Organ Donations Society, currently more than 25,000 Iranian patients are waiting to receive a transplant, but last year only 926 organs, mainly from victims of car crashes, were made available to the country’s specialist hospitals.

The shortage has led to the emergence of an illicit market where many poor people openly advertise the sale of one of their kidneys to those in need for as little as £200.

The only country in the world that used the organs of executed prisoners in this way was China, which banned the practice in 2015, although reports suggest that organs continue to be harvested.

Source » telegraph