Cutting Out the Middleman

It’s more dramatic to imagine the organ transplant market getting its supply through murder and state-imposed capital punishment, as in Larry Niven’s stories years ago. But it’s equally logical that what can be taken by force might be sold by its owners voluntarily. And a Berkeley anthropologist says it’s happening all over the world.

By accident or by design, she believed, surgeons in their unit had been transplanting black-market kidneys from residents of the world’s most impoverished slums into the failing bodies of wealthy dialysis patients from Israel, Europe and the United States. According to Scheper-Hughes, the arrangements were being negotiated by an elaborate network of criminals who kept most of the money themselves.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]


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