A global bioethical perspective on organ trafficking: Discrimination, stigmatisation and the vulnerable

Riaan Rheeder


Organ trafficking is a growing global phenomenon that not only has abusive consequences, but is also, as far as can be determined, discriminatory and stigmatising. Currently, there is no national or global declaration that rejects organ trafficking because of the discriminatory and stigmatising results of the medical practice involved. The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) addresses the problem by relating organ trafficking (art. 21.5) to discrimination and stigmatisation (art. 11). Until a global declaration and an accompanying project come into existence, the UNESCO declaration can be used as an influential appeal to the world community to combat these activities together.

Author's affiliations

Riaan Rheeder, Unit for the Development of Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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Organ trafficking, Discrimination, Stigmatization, UNESCO

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2017;10(1):20-24. DOI:10.7196/sajbl.528

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-01-25
Date published: 2017-07-03

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