Punish Human Organ Syndicates

Sunday, 07 February 2016 , 09:21:00 WIB - Opinions

Police officers are carrying a box of documents after searching Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) hospital in Jakarta, Thursday (4/2). The search is performed in connection with human organ trade in Bandung, Jawa Barat. (ANTARA)

Author: Abdanial Malakan, S.H., M.H. *)

In late January, shocking news broke in the country. It was reported that some villagers in Majalaya District (Bandung Regency, West Java) are living with only one kidney as they sold the other to a syndicate over economic pressure. It was the police who revealed the case.

Edi Midun (39) is one of the villagers who traded one of his kidneys with the rupiah. He told reporters how he had Rp35 million debt in August 2014 and a broker initialed AM, who operates in his kampong, came to him and offered to buy his kidney. In the end, they reached a deal to purchase the organ for Rp75 million.

People who are struggling with their economy are indeed vulnerable to accepting such offer. On the opposite side, what motivates the brokers is easy money, a large amount of it. For instance, while the broker pays Rp75 million for one organ, he can resell it for Rp300 million, or even Rp500 million in some cases. The syndicate involves brokers, who seek and make the offer, and an irresponsible surgeon.

In the case above, the Police will charge the culprits for violating Article 64 Verse (3) of the Law No.36/2009 on Health.

People who violate said article, according to Article 192, the maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of RP1,000,000,000 (one billion) rupiah.

So, how does the government meet the needs for legal organ transplantation? Not all organ transplantations are illegal in the country. There is Article 64 verse (1) Law No36/2009 on Health.
This law stresses that organ transplantation is allowed and that it is the sales transaction that is illegal.

The phenomenon of selling and buying human organs cannot be underestimated as there are a lot of impoverished people in Indonesia. Issuing regulations should not be enough for the government, who must also make preventive measures through disseminations that inform the public about the dangers of human organ syndicates.

*) The author is an advocate and law practitioner.