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Information is being spread on the internet claiming that a draft law has been introduced to the Verkhovna Rada to ban the transplantation of organs from deceased soldiers in an attempt to somehow stop the activities of “black transplantologists.” The authors claim that transplantologists have become so audacious that members of parliament were forced to propose this bill, despite the obvious reputational damage it may cause to the country.
However, this is not true. In the draft law, it was proposed to extend the effect of the law on transplantation to the entire territory of Ukraine, where martial law has been imposed. Although the organs of soldiers killed in the war were not used for transplantation without this.
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On July 12, 2023, deputies from the “Servant of the People” and “European Solidarity” factions submitted draft law №9482 to the Verkhovna Rada, proposing amendments to the laws “On State Financial Guarantees for Medical Services for the Population” and “On the Application of Transplantation of Anatomical Materials to Humans.” Specifically, they believe that changes should be made to paragraph 4 of Article 17 of the law on transplantation, prohibiting the retrieval of organs from servicemen who died during military operations or in “certain areas where martial law is in effect.”
The current law states that organ transplantation is prohibited for military personnel who died as a result of conducting an anti-terrorist operation and other military actions.
As stated by the General Director of the Ukrainian Transplant Coordination Center, Dmytro Koval, after February 24, 2022,the organs of both military and civilian individuals who died in combat were not used for transplantation, regardless of the region in which they were located. Vasyl Strilka, the General Director of the Directorate of High-Tech Medical Care and Innovations at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, also pointed out that this rule applies to all military personnel who died in the conflict zone.
The politicians who submitted the draft law explained that it is necessary to update the existing law according to new circumstances and extend the ban to areas in Ukraine where martial law is in effect. In essence, they aim to formalize the norms that are already de facto in place in Ukraine.
Screenshot of the comparative table of the current law (left) and the proposed changes (right)
In addition, the deputies justified their decision by stating that inaccuracies in the current law could be used by Russian media to create fakes and manipulations. According to the authors, this could lead to a worsening of the public’s perception of voluntary organ donation.
The spread of fakes about “black transplantology” in Ukraine has been promoted by Russians for several years. However, after the start of Russia’s full-scale aggression in February 2022, Russian media began to more actively disseminate disinformation about the “illegal harvesting of organs” from Ukrainian military personnel.
In previous issues, we refuted a fake that allegedly a Ukrainian military man witnessed the work of “black transplant specialists” at the front.
The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations