This week we are proud to say that our very own Deb Holbrook will be speaking at the World Summit on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting. This September conference will address the many different fields that should work together in order to combat the appalling practice of forced organ harvesting. She will be joined by medical professionals, legal and policy experts, media correspondents, politicians, educators and many other stakeholders speaking on the topic.

            Forced organ harvesting can be an issue for our patients and as nurses, we can affect change for them. The bMORESafe program has worked extensively to combat human-trafficking of all kinds. We have created screening and training policies for medical, nursing, and healthcare staff- Embracing the Blue Dot response as the central intake to protect patients. Blue Dot is a plan for rescue and relief with a central point of intake that depends on the screening and identification of victims to provide a unified response. Awareness campaigns have been launched in order to educate on the signs to look for in victims of human trafficking.

            Deb has personally worked to form a Human Trafficking Medical subcommittee to break down silos and join 13 medical systems to create screening policies and training to not only identify victims, but to encourage trauma informed care. Together with stakeholders in the Office of the Attorney General, United States Attorney’s Office and State’s Attorneys, the FBI, Homeland Security, a host of state and local law enforcement agencies, along with medical professionals, advocates, elected officials and community leaders, we have found ways to advocate for victims and serve them the best that we can.

            Forced organ harvesting is on the list of human trafficking crimes and we have created awareness in hospitals to watch out for potential victims. Patients who suddenly “leave the waiting list” for legally procured organ transplant to travel abroad could indicate that they are involved in, and perpetuating, the market of illegal organ harvesting. Health care workers who see the signs need to make noise, fight for prosecution to protect victims and prevent future victims.

            Education and accountability are still our best tools to use in this fight. At Mercy, we will continue to fight for victims of all forms of human trafficking. For more information about Forced Organ Harvesting visit https://dafoh.org.


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