Wealthy people are bypassing donor lists by paying off poor people in Bangladesh into selling their organs. An investigative paper, authored by anthropologist Monir Moniruzzaman, examined illegal organ trafficking in Bangladesh, relaying the narratives of 33 victims who were tricked by organ buyers into having their kidneys extracted from their bodies (The Atlantic). Newspaper classified ads promising compensation with minimal safety risks convinced poverty-stricken Bangladeshis to give up their kidneys.
The high demand for organs and long waiting lists is in part what fuels this illegal trafficking. In the United States, over 100,000 people are waiting on a donor list for an organ right now, according to OrganDonor.gov. And though 79 Americans receiveorgan transplants daily, 18 people die everyday because of shortages.
Many of the Bangladeshis who sold their organs did not even receive the amount they were promised, according to the research paper. The average price advertised for a kidney was $1,500, but 81 percent of those surveyed by Moniruzzaman said they didn’t receive the amount they were pledged, Moniruzzaman said in an interview with Live Science.
The recipients of these kidneys span the globe, and trafficking is not limited to Bangladesh. Last year, a Canadian man testified before EU judges, telling them that he paid an Israeli citizen $105,000 to arrange a kidney operation after doctors had told him that getting a transplant in Canada might take up to 12 years of waiting, the AP reported.
Read more: Huffington Post