“Everything has been screwed up. My last hope is to sell my kidney or liver. So please call me if you’re interested,” a message on a Korean website reads, along with a phone number.
“Everything has been screwed up. My last hope is to sell my kidney or liver. So please call me if you’re interested,” a message on a Korean website reads, along with a phone number. Messages like this appear often on forums for patients with liver or kidney failure. Experts say organ trafficking is on the rise in South Korea even though it is illegal there.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) and Rep. Lee Nak-yeon of the country’s main opposition Democratic Party, there were 357 reports of these organ trafficking messages online this year, up from 174 last year. However, the number of arrests for criminal organ trafficking has dropped radically, with only 1 this year, 3 in 2010, 9 in 2009, 18 in 2008 and 71 in 2007.
Under current law, no compensation for donors is allowed. Those who remove or transplant other people’s organs illegally or introduce such practices can face prison. According to the CDCP, there are more than 20,000 patients on the waiting list for organs in Korea – but there have been only 2,500 donations. ~ Korea Times, Sep 16
Organ trafficking on the rise in Korea
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