May 2014

Organ trafficking



The illicit trade in human organs - mainly kidneys - is a multimillion-dollar business. Spanning continents, bringing together for a brief period the medically desperate with the desperately poor, it is portrayed by the pushers as helping out people in extreme need. But this illegal, exploitative trade remains firmly in the hands of criminal networks.

With gangs taking the major cut of the vast sums paid out by buyers, the seller gets a raw deal. Rarely properly briefed about the reality of organ removal, often coerced or unable to change their minds, sellers are often cheated out of the money promised to them, and dumped with no thought for aftercare: for them, the transaction remains fraudulent, unequal and dangerous.

This month's New Internationalist features the work of medical anthropologist and activist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a world authority on the subject, with first-person accounts from across the entire spectrum of the trade. Exploring the mass of ethical issues involved, it brings to light why the traffic in human organs is so difficult to stamp out.










Stories making the news this month
6 Ugandan LGBTI community down but not out
6 Roma discrimination rife in Slovakia
7 PepsiCo says no
7 Indians ask: how do I kiss?
7 Introducing Arseniy Yatsenyuk
8 Blanket assault on Cambodian garment workers
8 East-West strain over Ukraine
9 Keeping UKIP out of EU
9 Abled people say
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be cheerful.

The Big Story
Organ trafficking
10 Perpetual scars
A forensic examination of the persistent problem of trafficking vulnerable people for their organs, and what it would take to stamp it out, by Nancy Scheper-Hughes.
PLUS: Stories and opinions from those with personal experience of the trade.

21 The Medicus affair
A report from Kosovo on the skullduggery of an international gang of medical criminals and the tortuous road to bring them to justice. By Selvije Bajrami.

23 A living donor Bill of Rights
Principles for protection.

24 Dear Potential Organ Buyer...
If you think the trade on human organs just needs proper regulation, read Nancy Scheper Hughes’ exploration of the options.

28 Beyond burnout
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an occupational hazard for activists on the frontline, says Amy Hall.

30 10 reasons to be worried about the trojan treaties Hazel Healy looks at two monster US-led free-trade deals.
Mixed Media
34 Film reviews
We Are the Best! directed by Lukas Moodysson; An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, directed by Danis Tanovic.

35 Music reviews
Underwater Dub by Sly and Robbie; MetaL MetaL by Meta Meta.

36 Book reviews
The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda by Fawaz A Gerges;
A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros; Charlie Chaplin by Peter Ackroyd; and The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld.
PLUS: Also out there…

32 Chris Coltrane
Carbon stomp.
PLUS: Polyp’s Big Bad World cartoon.

33 Mark Engler
Cadillac’s electric dream is a nightmare.

4 Letters
Legal protection for whistleblowers and praise for basic income.

5 Letter from Bangui
Ruby Diamonde visits the Ba-aka forest people to find out
about the impact of missionaries.

26 Country Profile:
The Philippines

38 And Finally
Filmmaker and director Uri Fruchtmann tells Jo Lateu why he supports activists who expose wrongdoing through video.




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