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On the 'Fast Buck' Trail: Kidneys on Sale

“Many have made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude”

……………. Leonardo da Vinci
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The booming kidney trade in India is a cause of great concern due to its socio-economic, ethical and medico-legal overtones.

In the city of Chennai in South India, a nefarious trade has been evolving on par with the metropolis’ growing economy. The police had recently busted a flourishing racket, dealing in the most ‘sought –after’ transplant organ--Kidneys. The racket involved a wide network of brokers, possibly a few unscrupulous health care professionals and impoverished donors drawn from the poverty-ridden community of tsunami survivors. They were catering to patients across several hospitals in Tamil Nadu, many of whom came from other Indian states and some from abroad. This ‘one-way’ trade involving the poor, selling their kidneys to rich patients is undoubtedly a cause of great concern for this developing nation.

Kidney transplants are closely linked with exploitation and abuse, the world over. In another Asian country, Japan, some nationals were reported to have employed gangsters to ‘persuade’ people in neighboring countries to part with their kidneys. One such gang was even known to have established ties with a major medical centre in Boston in the US.

In China, organs are harvested from an ever-increasing number of executed prisoners, while in Brazil, Argentina and S.Africa organs are removed from the dead bodies of the poor with scant regard for the sentiments of their kin. If the wages of sin is death, then the wages of poverty is to sell one’s kidney

Kidney Vending For ‘Transplant Tourists’

Kidney donation began, for all intents and purposes, with altruistic considerations by close relatives of affected individuals. However, with time, the supply of organs through living, related donors o
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