Neal Shusterman

Organ Trafficking and Harvesting

  • Organ trafficking is the illegal process of obtaining an organ with or without the victim's consent.
  • According to The Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (GIFT), " there are three type of organ trafficking. First, the traffickers force or deceive the victim into giving up an organ. Secondly, the victim formally or informally agree to sell an organ and are cheated because they are not paid for the organ or are paid less than the promised price. Thirdly, Vulnerable persons are treated for an ailment, which may or may not exist thereupon organs are removed without the victim's knowledge. The vulnerable categories of persons include migrants, especially migrant workers, homeless persons, etc."
  • Organ trafficking is an enormous problem in may parts of the world. The reason is the high profits of organ trafficking. It is the second most profitable trade, after weapon trades.
  • Organ harvesters, on the other hand, remove organs from someone who is dead, so that they could be transplanted into someone else.
  • Victims must meet criteria for brain death or cardiac death, determining that the patient is truly, irrevocably, dead. This can be traumatic, as the patient appears to be alive, but is not.
  • The hospital staff goes to extreme measures to keep the to keep the patient alive.
  • For cardiac death, the patient must be in cardiac arrest for 2 weeks.
  • In some parts of the world, there is unethical organ harvesting, such as from prisoners or politcal dissidents
  • Sometimes, people around the world sell their own organs so that they can support themselves. This practice raises troubling issues in medical ethics, as it is somewhat disturbing to think of people selling parts of themselves to survive.