Human Organ Trafficking

Justice/ Human rights

What is it?

Human organ trafficking is the harvesting, buying and selling of human organs on the black market.

The trafficking of organs is generally categorized into three groups:


  1. A person is forced or deceived into a situation where there organ is harvested from them and sold on the black market.
  2. A person (generally extremely poor) agrees to give up and sell their organ in exchange for money. Generally in these situations the donor is cheated, either they are paid significantly less than the previously agreed upon amount or they are not paid at all.
  3. A person goes to a doctor or clinic for a ailment or disease, and during that treatment their organ is taken from them without their knowledge or consent.
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People in need of an organ, and not able to receive one legally often travel to other countries and receive an black market organ donation. The travel for organ transplant is known as transplant tourism. Many people have little to know idea where these organs come from. But for most, their need is so dire that they will pay anything to acquire one. The price of organs on the black market greatly varies depending on the country. A heart can go for anywhere between $30,000-$290,000.
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In impoverished countries people often go to low end clinics when face with a medical problem. Sometime during the treatment for their ailment, their organs are taken without their knowledge or consent. The patient is often never given any compensation for the removal of their organ and little concern for the patients actual health is actually given.
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In many third world countries, people live in such poverty that they will of anything just to provide for their families and survive. This is why so many are drawn to the idea of given an organ for a quick and easy payout. However, this is not the case. "Donors" are almost always paid less than the agreed upon amount or receive no payment at all. In addition, the doctors who provide these procedures are unskilled and the conditions in which their organs are taken out is often not up to surgical cleanliness and sanitariness.

Forced to donate an organ

In some case, "donors" are kidnapped, drugged or simply forced into having an organ harvested. Last year in China, 5,850 of the 10,000 organ transplants that occurred, the organ was from a prisoner. With 65% percent of them being from dead death row prisoners and the other 35% being from living prisoners forced to provide an organ. In these cases the "donor" at no point agrees to give up an organ in exchange for compensation or goes to a doctor in hope of fixing another ailment.

Why does this exist? Need > supply

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The United States is one of the few countries that even has an organ donation waiting list or registry. Last year, only 25,000 of the 123,000 people on the list received a transplant. The need for organs and the short lived supply provided by legal terms has created transplant tourism. In the United States along 130,000 people are in constant need of a transplant, only about 20-25,000 of those receive the transplant they need through the correct ways each year. The number of available organs simply does not meet the every growing need for human organs. This causes desperate patients and families of patients to search for none legal and mainstream ways to obtain an organ. These organs are found in mostly in impoverished countries black market.
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Patients can wait years for an organ. In countries where there is no national organ donation registry patients an wait even longer, or may never receive an organ the legal way. In the United States alone, 22 people die each day waiting for an organ. For patients in a life threatening situation, there is no option but to find alternative ways to acquire an organ.
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Countries with low donation rates do not take failed organ donations into account. Only 50-70%, depending on the type of organ, are successful and continue to work for the recipient after 5 years. Organs, whether sold on the black market or legally can have hidden diseases, be rejected by the recipient, or simply fail. Organ transplant are not a one time thing, the majority of organs do not last forever, this with the increasing number of people needing an organ each year, keeps the rates of people in desperate need of an organ, who will do anything to get one, steadily increasing.
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25 Alarming Facts About Organ Trafficking

Works cited

Works Cited

"Facts about Organ Donation." UNOS. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

"Facts about Organ Donation." UNOS. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

"The Need Is Real: Data." Organdonor.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

"Organ Donation." Donate Life America. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

"Organ Donation: MedlinePlus." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

"Programs for Donor/Recipient Pairs with Incompatible Blood Types." The National Kidney Foundation. N.p., 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 05 June 2016.

"Programs for Donor/Recipient Pairs with Incompatible Blood Types." The National Kidney Foundation. N.p., 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 05 June 2016.

"10 Things Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Organ Transplants." EverydayHealth.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.