Today, 10/12/2017, on “true crime,” Dr. Oz discussed with Tia Brown (core team expert) the horrific practice of illegal human organ harvesting and selling that is almost too much for anyone to comprehend. This black-market has grown all over the world for many reasons: people who solicit to sell their organs, the long wait-list for recipients, the poverty-stricken people who need money, and brokers who practice dissecting live humans for money. Bodies have been found to contain no organs, horror stories of organs being harvested with the victim being awake, inhumane demands to children and the desolate. According to victims; crime leaders carry a gun, and when a potential organ seller gets cold feet-they use their finger to simulate firing a gun at the person’s head. Bottom line is while people are praying for a donor, predators are taking advantage of them for the one cause of most evil—MONEY.
Guest Iris Singleton opens up about her youngest son, Ryan, who was found dead in 2013 with his heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and eyes missing. Four years later, Singleton discusses the uncertainty behind her son’s case.
While accurate statistics are difficult to find, some suggest that up to 15% of the world’s transplants are performed using illegally obtained organs via an international black market web of organ brokers. The brokers bring recipients and donors together with transplant surgeons working out of fly-by-night medical clinics. The process is unregulated, illegal and the risks to both donor and recipient are high.
Vulnerable, desperate and undergoing risky surgery in filthy hospitals, these are just some of the patients being exploited by the black market organ trade. Donors regularly put their lives on the line for just ($5,000) from unscrupulous gangs who then sell on the body parts for up to $200,000 a time
Despite laws banning the sale of organs, the illegal trade is driven by an increased demand for kidneys which have in turn been fuelled by a rise in diabetes worldwide. The organ trade is thriving in Bangladesh, where 78 percent of residents live on less than $2 a day. The Department of Anthropology and the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, says the average quoted price of a kidney is 100,000 taka, or $1,400 U.S. dollars, but that figure has dropped as organs donated by the poor are in abundant supply. Donors rarely receive the compensation promised, and complications that result from surgeries can lead to chronic pain, depression, social isolation, and inability to work.
According to a WHO (World Health Organization) report in 2007, the underground organ market is still resurgent in India, with around 2,000 Indians selling a kidney every year. WHO reported there are at least 10,000 black market organ organizations around the world.
In China alone, it was revealed yesterday that hospitals are believed to be harvesting up to 11,000 organs from political prisoners each year.
The Declaration of Istanbul on organ trafficking and transplant tourism roundly condemns – and attempts to curtail – the practice. Around 100 countries have strengthened their laws to prevent organ trafficking, notably China, Pakistan and the Philippines.
But while the Declaration of Istanbul, and, more recently, China’s formal agreement to stop using organs from executed prisoners for transplantation, provide much-needed progress toward curtailing the frequency of organ trafficking, the best solution is to increase organ donation to better meet the demand of those in need.
The sale of organs is illegal in any country but anyone can volunteer to donate their organs. Unfortunately, the horrific crimes of human trafficking, including organ trafficking, will continue no matter what actions the international community takes. That is just the nature of exploitation.
Photo courtesy of Bing.com