Life-and-death decisions

Should we prosecute someone who travels abroad to buy an organ for transplant on the black market? Ros Dodd talks to Birmingham Research Fellow Dr Sheelagh McGuinness about the complex legal and ethical issues surrounding medical tourism.

Unless the mother’s life or health is at risk, abortion remains illegal in Ireland. As a result, thousands of women travel from Eire to the UK and elsewhere for terminations.

In the UK, as in the rest of the world, it is against the law to buy a human organ – typically a kidney – for transplant, but that’s no deterrent to those willing to fly to the Indian sub-continent to obtain one on the black market.