A Colombian Liver With Your Turkish Cornea?

| December 19, 2000

A Colombian Liver With Your Turkish Cornea? Leonardo Calcagno, Freezerbox
Children in the Third World are no longer just work slaves or sexual toys, they're also spare parts, writes Leonardo Calcagno in the webzine Freezerbox. Calcagno's interview with 'Dr. A', a Montreal organ bank worker who wishes to remain anonymous, reveals the seamier side of the global organ transplant trade. 'Did you know that a human body can be sold for $35,000 and the skeleton alone can be sold for $200 a gram?' says Dr. A. 'That's almost four times the price of cocaine.' With such astronomical profits to be made, the organ market is booming, despite a flurry of international attention in the late 1980s from the United Nations, International Health Organization, OXFAM and others. What can be done about organ trafficking? 'Contact your officials and demand investigations,' says Dr. A. 'Call Human Rights international and sign petitions, demand a tighter control of donor banks.' Above all, 'sign your organ donor cards.' The traffic persists only because the demand for organs is far greater than the legal supply. 'If you are a parent and your kid is dying because he's waiting for a transplant,' Dr. A explains, 'you will do anything in your power to save him, even if [it] is taking someone's life.'
--Leif Utne
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