Transplant Tourism


I was watching a National Geographic show this week that highlighted the issue of organ trafficking. Here are a few quotes:

One in 10 transplants is the result of a foreigner buying an organ from another nation, and in many poor countries across the globe, “transplant tourism” has taken hold.

Explorer exposes how organ trafficking knows no boundaries, with body parts moving around the world by the thousands, from the poor to those with the means to pay.  “It was eye-opening to see just how sophisticated and developed some of these ‘transplant tour companies’ have become,” commented Lisa Ling.  “And it’s no surprise, since the global body market rakes in an annual $20 billion, and these numbers are expected to double by 2010.”

That’s mind-blowing. It’s another example of why, as leaders, we need to be aware of the world issue to educate others and take action to help the oppressed–people who live in systemic poverty. Someone needs to stand up for their account. At one point the show visited an island in the Philippines where over 3,000 people had given up an organ for money to help their families. They lined them up and showed their scars. Here’s another quote.

The international trade in human body parts includes a world in which those with means can afford to buy a new lease on life, often at the expense of the less fortunate.  This market exists only because the number of willing donors can’t meet the demand.  What can we learn by examining the current state of this dilemma, and what can be done to create a more equitable future for organ trafficking?

Did you catch that, “often at the expense of the less fortunate”? I’m not saying this isn’t a complex issue, people’s lives have been saved by it, but at what cost? And, as Christ-followers, what’s our role in issues like this? What are your thoughts?

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*Also, the name of the show on NG was “Taboo.”

File Under: the world already knows something’s wrong.

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