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Inside Story

Organ trafficking controversy

Indian doctor Amit Kumar has been arrested in connection with a transplant racket.

Last updated: 13 Feb 2008 12:27
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Many of those who sell one of their kidneys illegally
never receive the agreed price [AFP]
A doctor has been remanded in custody in Delhi in connection with an alleged international organ transplant racket which has gripped the nation. Amit Kumar is said to have sold the kidneys of more than 500 labourers who claim they were operated on illegally under the pretext of medical tests.
 
Trafficking in human organs is of course nothing new. There are countless stories in India alone of desperate donors who agree to sell a kidney illegally in an attempt to fend off poverty. Many are never paid the price they were promised and end up too sick to work again, leaving them worse off than ever before.
 
In contrast, desperate recipients at home and abroad - in the US and Gulf states, for example - pay extraordinary prices for illegal organs as they fight to prolong their lives.
 
Just what is the global scale of the trade? Can it be policed internationally when legal donations are so often governed by local laws, customs and ethics? And what of those who say the black market can only be brought under control by legalising the sale of human organs?
 
Inside Story, with presenter Hashem Ahelbarra, investigates.
 

Watch part two of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube

This episode of Inside Story aired on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 17.30 GMT
 

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