University of Minnesota

World Medical Association, Resolution on Physicians' Conduct Concerning Human Organ Transplantation (1994).


Adopted by the 46th WMA General Assembly
Stockholm, Sweden, September 1994


WHEREAS there is significant concern at the increasing number of reports of physicians participating in the transplantation of human organs or tissue taken from:
- the bodies of prisoners executed in application of a death sentence without previously obtaining their consent or giving them an opportunity to refuse; or
- the bodies of handicapped persons whose deaths are believed to have been expedited to facilitate the harvesting of their organs; or
- the bodies of poor people who have agreed to part with their organs for commercial purposes; or
- the bodies of young children kidnapped for this purpose; and
WHEREAS in such cases the participation of physicians is in direct contravention of the guidelines enunciated by the World Medical Association in its Declaration on Human Organ Transplantation adopted in October 1987;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the World Medical Association solemnly reaffirms those guidelines and calls upon all national medical associations to uphold them, and in the case of infraction of these guidelines to severely discipline the physicians involved.