View Full Version : Japan is back to the Stone Age when it comes down to transplants

Oct 8, 2004, 14:56
Japan is back to the Stone Age when it comes down to transplants (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fd20040606pb.htm)

Actually, about 3,000 organ transplants took place last year in the United States, which is a smaller number than it sounds considering that 2.4 million Americans died in the same year. But it's a huge number compared to Japan, where only 30 organ-transplant operations have taken place since they were legalized in 1997.
Under the current law, organs for transplants can only be removed from individuals who are 16 or over and who have filled out a "prior declaration," often referred to as a donor's card. The doctor must also receive permission from the donor's family.
Except for eyes and kidneys, organs for transplant must come from a living body, so the number of viable hearts, lungs and livers, etc. is greatly limited under such a law, especially given that the number of adults with donor cards has never risen above than 9.2 percent of the population

Again the Japanese legal system is very backward when it comes to the acceptance of medical technologies (see this article (http://www.wa-pedia.com/society/japanese_backward_legal_system.shtml)). With contraceptive pills only legalized in June 1999 (see article (http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20040817f3.htm)), laws that do not recognized DNA-tests as a valid way to prove fatherhood for children born outside marriage, and courts ruling against recognising the genetical parents of children born of a surrogate mother no later than in August 2004 (see article (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20040815a2.htm), Japan does seem like a very legally and socially retarded nation.