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November 4, 1983

Bill introduced to thwart kidney brokerage

JAMA. 1983;250(17):2263-2264. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340170011005

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Congressional hearings have begun on a bill to prohibit sales of human organs. However, a physician who proposes to match persons wishing to sell and buy kidneys for transplantation says if this measure passes he might set up such a brokerage abroad.

The physician, Harvey Barry Jacobs, MD, 41, presently is setting up his International Kidney Exchange, Ltd, in Reston, Va. He began contacting administrators of about 7,000 hospitals in this country in September and says he has received several expressions of interest.

There have also been numerous expressions of dismay. One manifestation is the bill (H.R. 4080), introduced recently by Congressman Albert Gore, Jr, of Tennessee and colleagues in the US House of Representatives, that would provide penalties of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment up to five years for sale of human organs (not including blood). The sponsors hope the House will pass the bill by the end of