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    Donor organs transplantation is a topical issue for Russia, minister Zurabov says

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    MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov admits that the problem of donor organs transplantation exists in Russia.

    "It is a systematical problem in Russia and we intend to closely follow it," he told journalists on Wednesday.

    Zurabov said that 3,500 patients need renal transplantation annually. In fact, only 200 operations within them were performed.

    "While waiting for a donor kidney, the patient undergoes a costly medical procedure, dialysis. It means special beds, equipment, personnel, and, most importantly, uncertainty," Zurabov said.

    To him, a set of legislative problems stand in the way. "We lack a civilized approach for taking donor organs," he said. He added that Russia has no such bank. The problem does not exist when the transplantation of body organs from a relative is concerned, Zurabov said.

    "The correctness of taking organs from a man attested dead" is now in discussion, he said. "Resolving this problem in principle, we rid many of the hope to live on."

    Zurabov said that about 30,000 people die on Russian roads annually and "potentially, from some of them body organs can be removed for transplantation provided all the requirements are observed."

    On May 31 the Moscow City Court fixed for June 22 hearings on the unlawful transplantation in Hospital 20. Two of its chiefs and two transplantology specialists had been acquitted on March 1. The prosecutor's office had accused them of preparations for killing patient Orekhov, arriving to the admission room with "closed craniocerebral injury" on April 11, 2003. The prosecutor had demanded from eight to nine years in prison. However, the court had found that "the doctors began preparations for the transplantation of organs after the patient had been attested dead."

    On Wednesday people in need of the transplantation of donor organs gathered for a meeting outside the Health and Social Development Ministry. They demand the earliest normalization of the organs-transplantation situation. No such operations have been performed since the court hearings of that case.

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