The Great Organ Bazaar
LUND, SWEDEN – The Web site 88DB.com Philippines is an active online portal that allows service providers and consumers to find and interact with each other. Naoval, an Indonesian man with “AB blood type, no drugs and no alcohol,” wants to sell his kidney. Another man says, “I am a Filipino. I am willing to sell my kidney for my wife. She has breast cancer and I can’t afford her medications.” Then there is Enrique, who is “willing to donate my kidney for an exchange. 21 years old and healthy.”
Other offers of this type could, just a few years ago, be found at www.liver4you.org, which promised kidneys for $80,000-$110,000. The costs of the operation, including the fees of the surgeons – licensed in the United States, Great Britain, or the Philippines – would be included in the price.
All of this Internet activity is but the tip of the iceberg of a new and growing global human-tissue economy. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that about 10% of organ transplants around the world stem from purely commercial transactions.