Pope Calls for More People to Donate Organs

Pope Francis has called for more people to donate their organs in a bid to stop illegal trafficking, but spoke out against the legalization of the organ market, Rome’s mayor said Saturday.

“The Pope authorized me to say that in his view organ donation through generosity must be encouraged, but the commercial use of organs is immoral,” mayor Ignazio Marino said, after meeting with Francis on Friday.

“We need to explain that donating organs is a gesture of love. Each of us, for example, has two kidneys, and giving one of them to a relative or a person we love is a beautiful gesture. Entering into the spiral of trade and sales is a crime,” the Pope said, according to Marino.

The meeting with Marino and a world delegation of transplant experts came as the United States debates whether or not to introduce financial incentives for organ donation, which could include reimbursing costs of travel for donors and lost wages, as well as providing long term health insurance.