Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 12, 2007 / 2Kislev 5768

American vampire

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When Malaka, an Indian tsunami refugee, agreed to sell her kidney, the organ broker told her she would receive $3,500. But after the operation, he gave her only $700 — for an organ that a wealthy foreigner likely paid $40,000.


"She got what she deserved," the broker told the National Geographic Channel in an "Explorer" episode, "Inside the Body Trade."


Later, when Malaka's son's kidneys were failing, the doctor told her, "You gave away your kidney. Now your child needs a kidney. Who will give it to him?"


While free-market types have talked up Transplant Tourism as a nifty way for the world's poor to barter their way out of poverty, National Geographic Channel reporter Lisa Ling told me that after visiting organ donors from two villages in India — one known as Kidneyville — "the overwhelming majority of them did not get the money they were promised."


Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Art Caplan told me, "We may feel we can still justify this by saying we're leaving them better off than they were — minus a kidney, but at least they've got some change in their pocket." In a sense, it is "the equivalent of the neighborhood thug comes to town and says, 'You owe me money, and I see you have two kidneys.'"


At least Malaka is alive. In China, officials have admitted that they have sold the organs of executed prisoners to foreigners. And China executes convicts, not just for violent crimes, but also for crimes like embezzlement — perhaps even, according to allegations denied by the government, for being an adherent of Falun Gong.


"Nobody really told me about these things that I'm hearing about now. ... I had no idea," Eric De Leon of San Mateo, Calif., told Ling. Diagnosed with terminal liver cancer so advanced that he did not qualify for a transplant in America, De Leon bought a liver in China last year.


China has since announced new restrictions on its organ trade. For his part, De Leon continues to blog on his "Transplant Tales — to China and Back." The "No. 1 crime punishable by death, the most common crime committed, is drug smuggling," De Leon blogged last year. It seems the odds are good that his liver did not come from a dissident.


De Leon told Ling that when he informed his doctors he was going to China for a liver, they told him, "'In your shoes, I'd probably do the same thing,' and they would be happy to treat me when I came back."


"I find that hard to believe in this sense," Caplan noted. "It's difficult to find doctors who will treat you post-transplant if they weren't involved in the transplant." Given the ethical state of the organ trade, Transplant Tourism often involves unhealthy organs and poor surgical procedures. And some doctors won't treat patients like De Leon for ethical reasons.


Stanford University professor Bill Hurlbut, a member of the White House bioethics advisory council, noted that doctors should "not be encouraging at any level" the trade of organs from dubious sources. He fears "the commodification of human body parts."


When I talked to De Leon last year, he told me that if I needed a healthy liver, "Let's see how fast you're in line."


That's not a standard. Maybe during a fire, a man might panic and claw his way past children to get to an exit. But who wants to encourage such behavior?


As Caplan noted, he can conceive of the scenario in which Transplant Tourism might work for both donor and recipient — but by and large, it is immoral.


Every year more than 6,500 people die in America waiting for transplants. Ling closes by noting, "If we all signed up to become organ donors, no one would die waiting for an organ." Organ donations do save lives.


But just as it is wrong for Americans to die waiting for organs, it also is wrong for prisoners to die because an American needs a liver, or for a child to die because his mother sold her kidney. And it is beyond reason that in a country that passes numerous regulations on the feeding and care of livestock, people don't want to judge those who, like vampires, troll for organs in the Third World.


And if the donors complain, we'll just sneer and say: They got what they deserved.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles