Kidney

The gift that has been given to me says much about our capacity for great compassion and generosity, and I hope it sends an inspiring message to others about the importance of organ donation - Steven Cojocaru

Kidney

image by: Give a Kidney
     

The buying and selling of blood is still around, but it has been pushed into the background by the phenomenal emergence of organ transplants and the demand for living human organs, especially kidneys. Even though the sale or profiting from the purchase of human organs has been outlawed in just about every country, a planet-wide black market has arisen as a consequence.

There are reports of donors having been recruited from the Brazilian slums and flown to South Africa where their kidneys were surgically removed. They were paid six to ten thousand dollars and flown back home with one remaining kidney. The South African middlemen were then able to flog the "donated" organ for about one hundred thousand. Not too shabby a margin of profit.

Some organ donors may not even be that lucky. There are documented cases of wealthy people on dialysis who "short-cut" the wait by travelling to China to receive the kidneys of executed prisoners. There are even stories of women in India who are forced by their husbands to sell their organs to western buyers in order to provide dowries for their daughters.

As the shortage of transplants continues and the demand increases, it can only get worse. We are either going to have to find an ethical and honourable way of solving this enormous problem or the day of "Big Al's Used Organ Lot" may not be so far away. There is talk now of legalizing the trade in human organs in order to choke out the booming black market.

Meanwhile kidney transplantation is taken for granted.

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Last Updated : Saturday, March 7, 2020