Booming illegal trade in kidney donations in UK and China with some donors getting more that £60,000 per kidney for desperate donees

[Jamie Docherty, Medical News Contributor]

The cash-strapped in England and China are selling their organs to make ends meet, some are asking for USD$100,000 plus and expenses for kidney and other organs desperately needed by wealthy patients.

The donors are using the money for the organs to pay their debts, clear up mortgages and even to get their hands on iPADS (as was the case for a Chinese teenager called ‘Little Zheng’, a 17-year-old boy, who told his local TV network that the sale had been managed over the Internet. The enterprising boy got USD3,392 and a deep red scar for his trouble – BBC News).

MailOnline reports that  in England, would-be ‘donors’, a taxi driver and a nurse, are charging more than £60,000 plus expenses for their kidneys. They accept that they risk jail (as the operation is illegal) and also life-threatening conditions as a result of the operation, but they are adamant that they it is the only practicable option for them to make ends meet.  Kidney sales are lucrative as donors can command large sums for healthy kidneys because of the overwhelming demand for the organs. Only around 2000 of the 8000 or so people in Britain, for example, who need kidney transplants each year, ever get them. Many die before a donor becomes available.

According to Keith Rigg, president of the British Transplantation Society: ‘There are a lot of people desperate to receive and organ and a lot of people deep in poverty and desperate to get money and this is one potential way they see of doing that….but I would advise them not to do it because it is illegal. And if they are going abroad for the donor operation there is a risk they won’t get the necessary follow-up and there is a risk of dying from that.’

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