Hundreds of patients in Britain, all on waiting lists for transplants for organs such as kidneys are turning abroad, purchasing them from human traffickers. Many of them suffer from chronic kidney
disease and have turned either grown tired of the pain of waiting or are on death’s doorstep.
The trade has not only put the receiver at risk for incompatibility, but also diseases such as Hepatitis or HIV. As many as 5,000 people are currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in
Britain. All over the world, organ transplant is a time sensitive practice with high costs and long waiting times.
For many patients with kidney issues, a transplant is the only option. The kidneys are a valuable, indispensable pair of organs responsible for filtering the blood. When blood passes through
them, they remove waste material and toxins so they may be disposed of through urine. When the kidneys malfunction through injury the ability to do this may be reduced or lost completely. The
patients have two options. Dialysis requires the patient to be connected to a machine three times a week at least and have their blood filtered through a machine. The other option is transplant.
Transplant is seen as the best option for those with chronic kidney disease. Dialysis, doctors visits, medication and life style changes and limitations imposed by treatment add up financially. Life is radically altered and many patients can only work part-time because of the time constraints dialysis places on them. This means, many of the patients will be at risk for falling into poverty if not reduced to that. While insurance does exist, there can be limits to the coverage, if there is coverage at all.
Unfortunately, transplants are not easy to arrange. Patients need organs which are compatible with their blood type. But, these organs need to be available for use and they need to be in good
condition and free of disease. The lack of available organs is causing patients to turn to desperate measures such as buying organs from foreign countries. This is a multi-billion dollar black market industry which puts the patient and others at serious risk.
Doctors warn the practice of organ transplant tourism brings a very high rate of infection and death to the patient. Many of these organs are not properly screened and the individuals handling
removing the donor organ are not even properly trained doctors. Donors include recently executed prisoners. This has led to many complications such as patients contracting diseases like hepatitis C or HIV.
Many patients have needed treatment after donation and there is a case where one person went deaf because of complications. Up to one in ten of these transplants are due to human trafficking and the World Health Organization believes there are as many as 10,000 black market operations worldwide.
Brokers may use social media or other systems to communicate with desperate buyers. Some have highly evolved smuggling rings which involve doctors, lawyers and hospitals. But these individuals get their organs from the very poor. Using the donor’s own desperation, brought on by poverty, they buy the organs at a
very low price and do not often pay up. Worse, many of these donors can become victims themselves from the complications which result. There are even cases where a donor victim’s lack of education can be used against them. At least one donor was told his kidney would grow back after removal.
It’s critical that kidney disease sufferers, no matter how desperate things seem, remember to keep hope for their transplants alive and find the courage and foresight necessary to wait until the process can be carried out correctly and through the appropriate legal channels. Otherwise, you may be investing a lot of resources, emotional and monetary, into a shortcut which is not only highly unethical but also likely to not work out as perfectly as promised. For more information about the latest in kidney disease news around the globe, be sure to check our site periodically.