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Friday, February 08, 2008

Desperation of the Seeker and the Sought

With all the attention focussed on kidney-hunter Dr. Kumar from India there are reports that those seeking kidneys are turning to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Desperation of the seeker and the sought? - t

Will To Stop Live Kidney Sales Missing
By Praful Bidwai

NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (IPS) - The arrest of Indian kidney transplant racketeer Amit Kumar alias Santosh Raut has lifted the lid off a huge well-ramified illicit international organ trading ring with operations running into billions of dollars across several countries.

Kumar, who was tracked down in a resort in neighbouring Nepal on Thursday, has been absconding from the law since Jan. 24, when the police raided his clinic in a Delhi suburb and arrested his associates. He is thought to have been responsible for some 600 illegal kidney transplants.

The global kidney transplant racket is one of the most obnoxious manifestations of North-South inequality and of the repugnant practice of stealing organs from the poorest of the poor in the Third World, usually for patients in rich countries suffering from end-stage organ failure.

India is a major source of organs sold in the illicit international bazaar. Donors are usually induced into selling a kidney -- for as little as 1,000 US dollars to a maximum of 2,000 dollars -- just to survive.

The bazaar itself is highly evolved, with extensive cross-border transactions and a hierarchy of preferences and prices.

Thus, kidneys from South Asian countries, the Philippines and much of sub-Saharan Africa are sold for as little as 1,000 - 2,000 dollars according to a medical professional who has tracked organ trading, but who insisted on anonymity.


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