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|Title: ||Black-market lottery: organ donation and the international transplant trade|
|Authors: ||Bendorf, A|
|Issue Date: ||4-Mar-2014|
|Publisher: ||The Conversation|
|Citation: ||Aric Bendorf Black-market lottery: organ donation and the international transplant trade The Conversation 2014|
|Abstract: ||Estimates suggest more than two million people worldwide would benefit from an organ
transplant. While the donation rates vary greatly between countries, the contrast between the
increasing numbers of people in need and the inadequate numbers of organs being donated
mean many will die while they wait.
Last night, ABC’s Four Corners screened Tales from the Organ Trade, an HBO documentary
that highlights the desperation that links the world’s poor, who sell their organs, together with
first-world recipients who buy them on the black market.
While accurate statistics are difficult to find, some suggest that up to 15% of the world’s
transplants are performed using illegally obtained organs via an international black market
web of organ brokers. The brokers bring recipients and donors together with transplant
surgeons working out of fly-by-night medical clinics. The process is unregulated, illegal and
the risks to both donor and recipient are high.
The documentary raises challenging questions about this illegal trade in organs that
sometimes benefits both the donor and recipient and other times imperils the well-being of
both. There are, no doubt, many more untold horror stories.
While some experts argue the sale of organs should be regulated and legalised, most medical
professionals strongly discourage their patients from travelling overseas to undergo organ
transplants because they have significantly poorer outcomes than those who receive
So, with Australia widely regarded as a world leader in transplantation outcomes, what would
compel anyone to consider such a risky proposition? And why would anyone participate in
exploitation like this?|
|Description: ||The Conversation article|
|Rights and Permissions: ||CC BY-ND 4.0|
|Type of Work: ||Article|
|Type of Publication: ||Post-print|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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