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"I am interested to sell to a Russian [my] heart for 100,000 US dollar." from "The Great Organ Bazaar, by Susanne Lundin.

"A few days ago, a friend of mine, a medical scientist and physician in a Swedish hospital, received an astounding offer in her email box.

In poorly written English, the missive read: 'My name is Alex. I am [a] 31 years [old]European man. I never drank alcohol and did not smoke cigarettes. My blood is O and I have a good health. If you need [a] liver transplant I am ready to give part of my liver, but I want to receive a big compensation for that."

Such offers are hardly uncommon. Similar pleas to sell body parts appear in different forums and websites, such as Muhmnud75.

This advertisement is typical: 'I am an Indian. My native place [is] Brahmpur, district-Ganjam, Odisha. My age is 37 (17-08-1974). My blood group [is] O. I am fully vegetarian. I am interested to sell to an American my left kidney for 80,000 US dollar. I am interested to sell to a Chinese--[my] left kidney for 80,000 US dollar. I am interested to sell to a Russian [my] heart for 100,000 US dollar. I am interested to sell to a Japanese [my] brain for 100,000 dollar.'

Offers of this type could, just a few years ago, be found at, which promised kidneys for prices between $80,000 and $110,000. The costs of the operation, including the fees of the surgeons--allegedly licensed in the United State, Great Britain, or the Philippines--was included in the price.

Today, that website no longer exists. Many illegal medical cyber-markets exist for only a short time, only to disappear and re-emerge with a new name.

The internet's role in illegal organ sales is growing, but it is still a small slice of the massive global humantissue economy. The World Health Organization has estimated that about ten per cent of organ transplants around the world are arranged through commercial transaction One woman, originally from Lebanon, told me that a wealthy businessman from Spain offered to pay a huge sum for her kidney. In the end, however, she received no monetary payment. Her life today is much worse than it was before, mostly because of medical complications following the operation made it difficult for her to work. Similar stories are told by organ vendors I have met from the former Soviet states, the Middle East, and Asia."

Excerpts from The Great Organ Bazaar, by Susanne Lundin, Professor of Ethnology at Lnd University in Sweden.
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Publication:Transplant News
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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