November 28, 2022

Sick American seek kidneys in Latin America’s illicit organ market

Latin American countries are trying to crack down on a growing illegal organ trade, according to a report from Bloomberg Markets Magazine. The article describes deaths and disability from transactions in Nicaragua and Peru organised by shonky brokers. The trade is a problem in other countries as well, including Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico.

Latin American countries are trying to
crack down on a growing illegal organ trade, according to a report from
Bloomberg Markets Magazine. The article describes deaths and disability from
transactions in Nicaragua and Peru organised by shonky brokers. The trade is a
problem in other countries as well, including Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and
Mexico.

The illicit organ market
is dangerous for both donor and patient because doctors take shortcuts, such as
accepting organs from people who are sick, Gabriel Danovitch,
medical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program at the University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, told Bloomberg. “It’s a filthy
business in the same subcategory as the sex trade and child pornography,” he
says. “That is why it has to be stopped.”

The economics of medical tourism have
changed in recent years. In the past, wealthy Latin Americans went to the US
for treatment. Today Americans travel to Mexico or Colombia for cheap operations
by well-trained doctors. A legal Arizona medical tourism company, MedToGo LLC, offers
kidney transplants in Mexico and Costa Rica for about US$50,000, a fifth of the
cost in the US. ~ Bloomberg,
May 12

Michael Cook
organ markets