As many have by now learned, Dick Cheney finally received his long
awaited heart transplant at the age of 71.
But this thread is not really about him. Rather, it was his need for an organ transplant that spawned me to explore where some of these organs come
from and what I found is nothing less than shocking!
While I think many of us have heard the urban legends about people being abducted for their organs, it is clear to me what is going on
is far from an urban legend...but a global problem of stunning proportions.
But first, let's start here, in this country, the United States:
The Organ Black Market
Though the organ and tissue donation market are highly regulated in the United States, underhanded dealings between shadowy operators are not unheard
of. It's illegal in the U.S., and most other nations, to offer or receive compensation for an organ donation. But a black market for human organs does
Citizens of impoverished nations or regions are often tempted to sell one of their kidneys on the black market. In some cases, these entrepreneurial
donors are recruited (or learn through word-of-mouth and volunteer) and flown to another nation, where the organ is removed in a makeshift operating
In the U.S., a black market for human tissue exists. It usually involves bodies about to be cremated. A black market broker may enter into a financial
arrangement with a criminally minded funeral home director and carve up the bodies before they're cremated. Falsified papers -- such as consent forms
and death certificates -- are produced, and the tissue can then be sold to an American research facility. Sometimes, the tissue may be from a body
with an infectious disease, but is sold with documents that claim a different cause of death or medical history. Illegally obtained tissue from just
one cadaver has been known to reach 90 tissue recipients...
In fact, last year the FBI successfully prosecuted it's FIRST case of illegal organ trafficking in the US.
Kidney Broker Pleads Guilty in First
U.S. Organ-Traffic Case
A New York man admitted to brokering black-market sales of human kidneys to three Americans, becoming the first person convicted in the U.S. of organ
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 60, pleaded guilty today to three counts of organ trafficking and one count of conspiracy in federal court in Trenton, New
Jersey. He said three ailing people in New Jersey paid him a total $410,000 to arrange the sale of kidneys from healthy donors and an undercover FBI
agent paid him $10,000. A 1984 U.S. law bans the sale of human organs.
In court today, Rosenbaum admitted that from 2006 to 2009 he recruited Israeli donors, arranged for their travel to the U.S. and their lodging, and
set up blood tests to match them with recipients.
He told an undercover FBI agent that he had arranged “quite a lot” of transplants, according to the complaint.
“I’ve never had a failure,” he told the agent in a 2008 conversation quoted in the complaint.
But as you explore the issue further, Mr. Rosenbaum has to be just the tip of the iceberg.
How Poverty, False Promises, Fuel Illegal Organ
What would persuade you to sell a kidney to a stranger? For the 33 Bangladeshi kidney sellers interviewed by anthropologist Monir Moniruzzaman, the
answer was simple: poverty. An illegal organ trade in Bangladesh connects wealthy transplant seekers with poor people enticed, often with false
promises, to sell parts of their bodies.
Moniruzzaman uses the phrase "bioviolence" to describe the exploitation he found during his research. He linked it to the history of medical
exploitation of the disenfranchised, from the Tuskegee syphilis studies, in which treatment was withheld from black study subjects, to the surrogacy
market in which foreigners hire wombs in India to carry their babies.
How much does a Bangladeshi kidney sell for?
The average quoted price is $1,500. The market, it started more than 10 years before, and the kidneys' price was higher and it has gradually dropped.
After donation, post transplantation, the poor Bangladeshis receive different amounts. In one case, a poor Bangladeshi, a 23-, 24-year-old boy,
received only $600, and he was promised $1,600 to $1,700. In my study, 81 percent of the sellers didn't receive money they were promised.
They are tempted by the promise that appeared in the newspaper ad...
I collected close to 1,300 newspaper ads. Many promise a reward or compensation, including travel to countries like the U.S. or Italy.
A few months ago, the European division of CNN produced this report concerning and even sinister problem in the Sinai. And as you will see, these
'organ donors' aren't simply duped into selling their organs. They are taken by force.
This is all pretty remarkable when you realize that at this scale, the amount of medical skill, equipment, and logistics REQUIRED to deliver medically
useful body parts to the black market.
As the report indicates, corneas, livers and kidneys are the more sought after items. And just to be clear, these organs were harvested when the
victims were still alive!
In terms of market size, the illegal organ harvesting trade is second only behind the illegal arms trade, and trumps the sex and drug
Egypt is a major hub for this market.
As one trafficker in the videos says, "It's like getting spare parts for a car..."
And despite this illegal nature and scale of this issue in Egypt, authorities there have NEVER made a single arrest concerning the practice.
In Israel, the problem seems soundly present, although it's difficult to know the true numbers involved.
Claims of antisemitism surfaced in the Ukraine, in 2009, when one academic claimed:
"Israel has brought around some
25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs."
But then in July of last year, eight traffickers in Israel were prosecuted after a woman who 'donated' her kidney complained of failing to be paid.
And the problem isn't just in the Middle East, or places like India.
are current stories in Belarus, Azerbaijan, Moldova,
Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa, Nicaragua and Peru...
BLOOMBERG Markets reported in June that US citizens and others from the Americas suffering from kidney failure were going to...to buy organs in a
shadowy trade that injured and killed donors and recipients.
Take this guy, for example, and the stories that follow:
It's hard to believe that with all of this activity, few still realize it's taking place on such a wide scale.
Just this year, such claims are only now being heard concerning illegal organ harvesting in kosovo, now and during the 1990s war, involving captured
Of course even the UN seems is denial... (I'll get to that in a second.)
On Wikipedia, the CURRENT article on organ harvesting says:
Organ harvesting (is) a general fiction...
As evidence, they site Marzouk, Lawrence (7 May 2010). "EULEX Uncovers No Evidence KLA Trafficked Organs".
Matti Raatikainen, chief war crimes investigator for the EU mission, tells Balkan Insight that investigations into alleged KLA organ trafficking have
uncovered nothing so far. Accusations that the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, was involved in organ trafficking from the so-called “Yellow House” in
Albania are not supported by evidence, Matti Raatikainen, chief of war crimes investigations at EULEX, said.
But as the following demonstrates, the UN new much more than they were willing to publicly reveal concerning the Kosovo situation.
UN knew about Kosovo organ
trafficking, report says
A classified document obtained by FRANCE 24 suggests the United Nations knew about organ trafficking in postwar Kosovo as early as 2003, five years
before prosecutors in The Hague first raised the issue.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was expected to deliver a report on the situation in Kosovo to the Security Council in New York on Wednesday,
reaffirming UN support for investigations into human organ trafficking during Kosovo’s postwar period.
But a classified document obtained by FRANCE 24 indicates the UN knew of trafficking well before the issue was first raised by Carla del Ponte, a
former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in her memoirs published in 2008.
See the report here.
The report, dating from 2003, is an incomplete compilation of investigations carried out by UNMIK, the UN mission in Kosovo. It describes organ
trafficking that took place from 1999 to 2000, immediately after Kosovo's NATO-backed independence war.
The document, also obtained by the Italian news agency TMnews, details how senior commanders of the guerilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) obtained and
trafficked organs out of Kosovo and Albania.
The alleged victims were mostly Serbian men, but also included young women from other Eastern European countries. They were taken to clandestine
detention centres and private homes in Albania where their vital organs were extracted, leading to their death, the report says.
The 2003 document has never been presented to the European Union’s police and justice mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which is in charge of
investigating crimes committed during the war.
which estimates the market size of many black market
activites, says the market is around $38.09 Billion.
Kidney and other organ prices on the global criminal markets are based upon publicly available reports and is quoted in U.S. Dollars. The price
represents the amount either paid to the seller of the organ or the price paid by the buyer for the organ.
Average paid by Kidney Buyer: $150,000
Average paid to Seller of Kidney: $5,000
Kidney broker in Yemen: $60,000
Kidney broker in the Philippines: $1,000 to $1,500
Kidney buyer in Israel: $125,000 to $135,000
Kidney buyer in Moldova: $100,000 to $250,000
Kidney buyer in Singapore: $300,000
Kidney buyer in United States: $120,000
Kidney buyers in China: $87,000
Kidney buyers in Saudi Arabia: $16,000
Kidney seller in Bangladesh: $2,500
Kidney seller in China: $15,000
Kidney seller in Egypt: $2,000
Kidney seller in Israel: $10,000
Kidney seller in Kenya: $650
Kidney seller in Moldova: $2,500 to $3,000
Kidney seller in Peru: $5,000
Kidney seller in Ukraine: $200,000
Kidney seller in Vietnam: $2,410
Kidney seller in Yemen: $5,000
Kidney seller in the Philippines: $2,000 to $10,000
Liver buyer in China: $21,900
Liver seller in China: $3,660
Just this month, an article appeared concerning China's state program of organ harvesting, from a would-be defector and perpetrator of the program:
Medical Community Disturbed by
China’s Organ Centers
A recent report by a human rights watchdog group linking would-be defector and former police chief Wang Lijun with research into organ harvesting has
brought outspoken condemnation of Wang’s mixture of police work and medical innovation from members of the medical community within the United
The report, released by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), shows that while serving as police chief in
Jinzhou City, Wang Lijun founded the On-Site Psychology Research Center (OSPRC) on the subject of human organ transplant inside the building of the
Public Security Bureau.
Prior to Wang’s research, victims of forced organ harvesting were typically executed with a shot to the head, and then their organs would be
harvested. A team working under Wang’s supervision developed an injection method that is claimed to yield organs in better condition for
transplantation. Wang, upon receiving an award for this, bragged in a speech that he had overseen thousands of organ harvesting operations.
David Matas, the international human rights lawyer and investigator into forced organ harvesting in China (author, with former Canadian Secretary of
State David Kilgour of the 2009 book “Bloody Harvest”) had previously told The Epoch Times that with the injection method, “In effect they’re
not killing by injection, but paralyzing by injection, and taking the organs out while the body is still alive.”
Arthur Caplan, professor of Bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, reacted to the report, calling it
Indeed, it is.
But what could be worse than the widespread implication that even children are harvested for their organs?
Lost and Found in India
Two dead children were found at the back of the local school, their kidneys and eyes removed. An otherwise quiet village, where the most unusual,
interesting, or exciting thing that happens is at a local temple on a festival day, or when a cow or bullock or goat runs loose down the main street,
or when the boats crossing the river go on strike.
targeting Haiti's children, human organs, PM says
The Azerbaijani government says it is keen to crack down on child traffickers who are believed to
take children abroad and sell their organs for profit.
Child Abduction Syndicates in
Indonesia Thrive On Weak Policing...The really unlucky ones end up in organ farms...
South African hospital pleads guilty to organ trafficking case...The hospital group admitted receiving 3.8 million rand (£342,000) from an
illegal organ trafficking syndicate that included the removal of kidneys from five children.
While doing the research on this general topic, I repeatedly saw statistics that said the total global numbers of illegally harvested organs to around
5,000 per year. Many sources, like Wikipedia, seem to deny the existence of the issue altogether.
Clearly, all of that is wrong.
I knew hell existed in many parts of the globe, but I had no idea it could be found in this manner.
I hope you learned something from this thread.
I sure did.
edit on 25-3-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-3-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)
on Sun Mar 25 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: title edit per OP request