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A year has passed since the revised Organ Transplant Law took effect in July 2010. Now anyone, even children, can be organ donors if the next of kin consent. The changes have raised the number of donors but many patients are still waiting to receive organs.

The recent arrest of Dr. Toshinobu Horiuchi, 55, who allegedly engaged in illegal organ trading, indicates how desperate donor searches can be. Horiuchi, who was undergoing dialysis, reportedly paid a yakuza to obtain a 21-year-old man’s kidney. Horiuchi further faked adopting the donor to legally proceed with the transplant.

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