Rich Foreigners Jump List for Brit Organs

Doctors outraged as a record 8,000 Britons await transplants
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2009 12:49 PM CST
The organs of 50 British National Health Service donors have been given to foreign patients who have paid about £75,000 each for private transplant operations in the past two years.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – Despite dire organ shortages for ailing British patients, the livers of 50 UK donors were sold to foreigners for nearly $110,000 each, the Times of London reports. Forty patients from Greece and Cyprus—as well as others from non-EU nations including Libya, the UAE, China, and Israel—received liver transplants in Britain at the expense of their governments.

The private transplant operations took place at publicly funded hospitals, and surgeons received about $40,000 of the operation fee. One doctor called the practice “inappropriate.” But European law allows patients from member states to seek treatment in Britain, which isn’t compelled to treat them. A record 8,000 Britons are on public lists waiting for organ transplants.