September 28, 2022

Good intentions in the world’s organ market

Investigative journalist Scott Carney has just published The Red Market, a book about the international trade in human body parts –trade in human body parts — kidneys, skeletons, wombs, bones, even human hair. He makes a few interesting comments in a promotional interview with Publishers Weekly:

Publishers Weekly: Did any of your subjects—bone traders, blood traffickers, and organ brokers—give you any trouble for exposing their rackets?

Carney: The interesting thing about red markets is that everyone along the supply chain sees himself or herself in a positive light; they always talk about how they save lives, bring children into happy homes, or provide necessary materials for scientific study. My job was to see through the rhetoric and take a long hard look at what was really going on.

Publishers Weekly: You propose exposing the supply chain. How do you see this being implemented? 

Carney: The worst offenses I’ve witnessed have only come about because the transactions happen behind closed doors. Every time someone sells, transplants, or moves a piece of human tissue from one body to another, there should be a record. Right now only a handful of people are able to look at official records, and most of them don’t have any vested interest in rooting out problems in the system. If we put the power back into the hands of the public, then their outrage at kidnappings, grave robbing, blood farming, and organ trafficking should be enough to expose the worst perpetrators.

Michael Cook
organ trafficking
organ transplants