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Headline: Kidney Racket Uncovered in India

Indian police uncovered an organ selling ring that tricked or forced hundreds of impoverished Indians to sell their kidneys. ABC News reports victims were promised a job, taken to a private house for a "blood test," and forced at gun point to sell their kidneys for about $1,800. Five hundred to 600 kidneys were sold to wealthy customers, many foreigners (including two Americans) for ten times that amount.

According to the story:

Suspicious neighbors said they had noticed blood running out of the house's gutters, as well as blood-soaked bandages and even bits of flesh thrown into an open plot near the house.

The Times of India noted that the well-organized racket would buy advertisements in international medical journals promoting Indian "medical tourism packages." The packages would include airfare, accommodation, and the cost of transplant. Unfortunately, the doctor mastermind, Dr. Amit Kumar, may have fled the country, but officials believe 50 other medical officials were involved in the operation.

Do broken health-care systems lead to this kind of desperation? Should people be allowed to voluntarily sell their own organs?


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