An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking and transplanting human organs and other body parts)

This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in September 2008.


Borys Wrzesnewskyj  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Not active, as of Feb. 5, 2008
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment provides for the imposition of penal sanctions for persons who, in Canada or outside Canada, are involved in the medical transplant of human organs or other body parts obtained or acquired as a consequence of a direct or indirect financial transaction or without the donor’s consent.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

May 17th, 2017 / 7:30 p.m.
See context

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario


Marco Mendicino LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise this evening to discuss private member's Bill C-350, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking and transplanting human organs and other body parts), which was introduced by the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan on April 10, 2017.

This bill raises some complex legal and social policy issues. I want to point out that the House has contemplated these issues a number of times in the past decade. To be specific, a very similar proposal was introduced in the House on February 5, 2008, with Bill C-500, and again on May 7, 2009, with Bill C-381. A virtually identical proposal, Bill C-561, was introduced on December 6, 2013.

Our government condemns the underground trafficking of human organs, which so often victimizes vulnerable people in developing countries and under totalitarian regimes. There have been disturbing reports, as has been mentioned by my hon. colleague, of organ harvesting operations in recent years, all of which are extremely troubling. While the actual transplanting of illicitly obtained organs does not appear to be occurring within Canada's borders, we know that some Canadians have gone abroad to purchase life-saving organs due to a global shortage in organs for legitimate transplantation purposes. This practice is sometimes referred to as transplant tourism.

Bill C-350 proposes to create a number of new Criminal Code offences that would criminalize most people involved in the illicit trafficking of organs. The bill places particular emphasis on the recipients of illicitly obtained organs and would also criminalize those who assist purchasers, medical practitioners who take part in the transplantation of illicitly obtained organs, and any intermediaries who facilitate the transplantation. Those who sell their own organs are the only players who would not be directly criminalized, likely due to their vulnerability. The bill would allow Canada to extend extraterritorial jurisdiction where a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada commits any of these offences abroad.

Bill C-350 also proposes regulatory reforms that would require the establishment of a specific Canadian entity to monitor legitimate transplantations. It would require medical practitioners who examine a person who has had an organ transplanted to report the identity of that person as well as other health information to this proposed new entity. As part of this regulatory regime, the bill would impose a duty on the person who receives an organ to obtain a certificate establishing that it was donated and not purchased.

Currently in Canada, organ trafficking is prohibited by Criminal Code assault laws, given that removal of an organ without the informed consent of the patient constitutes aggravated assault. The Criminal Code provisions regarding accomplices and accessories after the fact also apply. In addition, the Criminal Code prohibits human trafficking under section 279.01, a related but distinct form of criminal conduct. The human trafficking offences can be enforced extraterritorially, but the assault offences cannot. Provincial and territorial regulatory laws governing legitimate organ transplantation also apply. They require informed and voluntary consent on the part of the donor and prohibit buying and selling organs. Transplanting organs outside of this regulatory framework constitutes a regulatory offence. Regulatory offences are generally punishable by a fine and/or a maximum of six months' imprisonment and cannot be enforced extraterritorially.

Basically, Bill C-350 would—

Criminal CodePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 15th, 2008 / 1:10 p.m.
See context


Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have the pleasure of presenting a petition signed by over 1,500 constituents from my riding of Etobicoke Centre, as well as individuals from the greater Toronto area.

The petitioners express grave concern about the Canadian connections of “Dr. Horror” and the illegal harvesting of kidneys from 500 poor labourers in New Delhi, India, as well as the harvesting of organs of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience languishing in Chinese prisons, as documented by the independent Matas-Kilgour investigation.

In an effort to put a stop to the harvesting and trafficking of human organs and body parts, the petitioners urge the House of Commons to pass Bill C-500, which makes it illegal to obtain organs or body parts from unwilling donors or as part of a financial transaction and would also establish a certification program and registration process to ensure that organs are legally donated and that no money transactions occurred for the procurement of an organ for Canadians, either in Canada or abroad.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

February 5th, 2008 / 10:10 a.m.
See context


Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-500, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking and transplanting human organs and other body parts).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce my private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking and transplanting human organs and other body parts).

This horrific underground industry in human organs and body parts is a consequence of three global trends coinciding during the last decade: first, the development of medical technology, allowing the inexpensive transplantation of virtually any body organ; second, the immense increase in global disparities and incomes; and finally, easy and accessible travel to any part of the globe.

Recent articles about the million dollar business of “Dr. Horror”, involved in the illegal harvesting of kidneys of a possible 500 poor labourers in New Delhi, India, and his Canadian connections, as well as a spotlight placed on illegal harvesting of organs of prisoners of conscience in China in the 2007 Matas-Kilgour report entitled “Bloody Harvest”, underscore the urgent need to address this modern horror.

By enacting this legislation, Canada will become an international leader in combating the sinister underground trade in human organs and body parts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)