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Invasion of the Body Snatchers 284

theodp writes "Newsweek reports that a grim trade in stolen human tissue isn't just the stuff of Robin Cook novels. Demand for the tissue, which is used in such procedures as joint and heart-valve replacements, back surgery, dental implants and skin grafts, has driven the price for a single harvested body up to $7,000. Many unsuspecting recipients are now rushing to doctors to be tested for tainted tissue."
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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  • I'm not giving my brain back.
  • Reminds me of the time I woke up in a tub of ice and note to call the hospital imediatly. I still miss my kidney.....
  • by rincebrain ( 776480 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @09:41PM (#14806149) Homepage
    Honestly, how do you tell the difference between good tissue from a legitimate source and good tissue from an illegal source? If they didn't fuck up, conceivably you won't notice...
    • For one thing disease, specifically the testing for it or lack thereof. The general health and age of the tissue is another problem.
    • In general though. This problem is serious in developing countries. Here, in U.S. they have the urban legend of the guy waking up in the hotel in a tub full of ice and with a missing kidney. But the poorest countries in Europe like Moldova and Albania, have large black markets for kidneys and probably other organs and tissues. In U.S. nobody in their right mind will give their kideny away for $1000, but when someone makes only $40 a month, $1000 is very tempting. There are villages where almost every other
    • If they didn't fuck up, conceivably you won't notice...

      There are hundreds of known, often fatal diseases you can catch from a transplant. If the tissue was obtained illegally, you can bet they didn't test for those, and the donors probably weren't 18 year olds that died in a motorcycle accident.

      So, I assume that when people get "tested", it's for things like hepatitis, HIV, and various parasites.
    • You're actually asking two different questions:
      1. How the hell do you test for tainted tissue?
      2. how do you tell the difference between good tissue from a legitimate source and good tissue from an illegal source?

      The answer to #1, is that you do blood tests and/or biopsies. If the donor had some unfortunate disease or genetic disorder, it might show up.

      The answer to #2... you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, if the tissues are "good". HOWEVER, if the tissues were "good", then there would be no reason to i

      • >...if the tissues were "good", then there would be no reason to illegally harvest it.

        If it's harvested illegally, the donor or the donor's next-of-kin can get paid. Otherwise under present US law they can't. Getting paid would motivate people to donate who would not otherwise donate.

        Thus, illegally harvesting good tissue for transplant makes excellent economic sense and would save lives. Unfortuntely, since the transaction is illegal, contract law doesn't apply and it's hard to get a positive rep

    • Even more interesting, try this:

      Many unsuspecting recipients are now rushing to doctors to be tested for tainted tissue."

      If you don't suspect you were such a recipient, then why would you be rushing to doctors to test for suspected illegally taken tissue?
    • If a well-known investigative journalist appears to turn into a stttering moron, blipverts cause people to explode, and pirate analog TV becomes fashionable, then you are five and a half seconds into the future in a Max Headroom-like Dark Future where all "donor tissue" is from pirated sources. No questions asked.
  • #%^&*! lawyers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by w.timmeh ( 906406 ) * on Sunday February 26, 2006 @09:45PM (#14806165)
    Lawyers for all the men have insisted their clients did nothing illegal

    Forging death certificates? Supplying stolen, possibly diseased, human tissue to medical facilities, which presumably are going to give it to patients who are already ill? And they argue that there's nothing illegal about this?
    The lawyers themselves should almost be on trial.
  • by Neoprofin ( 871029 ) <neoprofin@NOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Sunday February 26, 2006 @09:45PM (#14806166)
    I thought a kidney was 10K easily. TV has lied to me and those student loans are only getting bigger.
    • I know you're just joking, but one reason for the thriving kidney trade is that kidneys from living donors tend to be much healthier and last much longer than kidneys from dead donors.

      Apparently the quality of the kidney degrades very rapidly after death, or something about the way the body or organ is handled causes this damage. A cadaver kidney, treated properly, and assuming no organ rejection will generally last about a decade before it fails. A living donor kidney can apparently last up to 25 years o
  • Could be worse. [technovelgy.com]

    Maybe soon it will be. [everything2.com]
  • Taint? (Score:3, Funny)

    by tonygent ( 882913 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @09:46PM (#14806171)
    I'd be pretty pissed if someone used taint tissue on me too!
    • Better eat a tripe ration, quick!

  • Creepy... ...but at least it's not another post about video games. That Zonk must be angling for that coveted Most Slashdot Stories About Video Games In a Single Day award.
  • Oh crap... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @09:48PM (#14806178) Homepage Journal
    Makes me hope for a day when cloning techniques allow replacements to be grown from your own cells.

    Of course, that still won't stop sh*t like this. Part of this problem stems from the fact that we're so paranoid about human parts(mostly deservably), that demand outstrips supply enough to inflate values into the stratosphere.

    There's always somebody willing to save a buck by introducing or substituting substandard materials.
  • This sorta thing just came up on nationstates for me. Inmates are now compulsory organ donars. Im not sure if that means theyre harvested as needed, or if everything goes if they get shanked or something.
    • Organ donation is sufficiently in-demand that everything gets used. If you're a full donor, a squadron of doctors come in, and you're more or less left with your skin, muscles, and a skeleton made from PVC sprinkler pipe. Bones, eyes, organs, they take all the good stuff.
    • Care to cite a source for that doozey?
    • I know that has happened in China with executed prisoners, but I don't think that is the case in America. There is that whole religion thing that some people start wars over, and a lot of people find religion in prison.
      • Re:Huh... (Score:3, Funny)

        by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
        [...] a lot of people find religion in prison.

        Huh. Makes sense. Yeah, when I'm getting plowed in the ass daily, I'll make up some invisible friend in the sky who did this to me. Then, when I meet him, I'll kill him.

        • Re:Huh... (Score:4, Informative)

          by c_forq ( 924234 ) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Sunday February 26, 2006 @11:39PM (#14806465)
          I think a bigger factor is that Christian's send many people to talk to prisoners, and forgiveness of sins helps deal with guilt or crimes committed (and the day of judgements helps with dealing with enemies, being able to think they will eventually get what they deserve). I know Nation is Islam has had many people join out of prison (their programs to help ex-convicts stay out of jail and gang deterrence programs are probably major factors in that), I don't know about Islam in general though.
    • Larry Niven wrote some good stories about this specific issue. Eventually every crime resulted in the criminal being given to the organ banks. No jury would vote against it since they might need a body part at some point in the future. And what better way for a ciminal to make restitution for their crimes. He also wrote several stories involving organlegging, people stealing body parts to fill specific orders.
      • The problem with Larry Niven's vision of the future is that alloplasty ("gadgets instead of organs") in the Known Space universe didn't get invented until like 2400, see A Gift from Earth (now part of the Three Books of Known Space [amazon.com] omnibus). That's really, really far in the future. With the current pace of technology, artificial organs will be on the market in mere decades. Heck, Ray Kurzweil doesn't even think most of us will have biological bodies two hundred years from now.
        • I'll believe that when I get my flying car.

          Also, in spite of what Ray Kurzweil thinks, most of us reading this will be dead in 200 years. Probably all of us.
    • Only if they die. Being "harvested at need" consitutes the death penalty. Believe it or not, the USA only kills a handful of prisoners per year.
  • $7k, huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @09:51PM (#14806191)

        I've been in a certain central-american country where they'd kill you for your passport, because they could sell it fo a measly $500.
    • They just pretend to pick you up for some casual sex, but then when you fall asleep in the hotel they perform surgery, snatch your kidneys, and into the bathtub full of ice you go... It's true! This happened to a friend of someone who sent me an email....
  • So, can we have your liver then?
  • by GuyFawkes ( 729054 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @10:02PM (#14806223) Homepage Journal
    No names and no pack drill.

    I worked for a man who was incredibly rich and extremely well connected, there might have been things he couldn't buy, like some countries, due to lack of money, and there was one thing he could not buy in reality, which was sight for his blind daughter...

    However he did tell me very matter of factly that when you were a millionaire it was a simple matter of going to miami where jewish doctors (I'm repeating what I was told, so I'm not going to alter it to remove any racial / religious references in a bid to make it more credible etc) would sell you any transplantable organ or tissue you liked, at a price, harvested from medically screened live donors, said donors being sourced in south america.

    A healthy 20 year old heart, chosen to match your tissue etc etc etc

    He was as matter of facts about things that were just there and available to the super rich as we would be about a 1U web server, it's there if you want it.

    I doubt the actual true non politically correct market value of a single average human life has increased any in the intervening 19 years.
    • This also happens in China, where life is considerably cheaper than in the US. I am sure that there are people who do transplants from unwilling victims for the super-rich but it would not large market and in the scale of crimes people should pay attention too it is not even in the radar.

    • So who is going to let themselves die in order to sell their organs to a foreign interest? Unless by donor you mean victim.
    • Gotta say, my opinions have changed since I had a child.

      If I were in more dire straits than I am and needed to weigh a grim future for my child against my own ability to supply several body parts that would net enough to feed her until adulthood, it would genuinely be a tough choice. Desperation breeds ingenuity (or moral flexibility), in a sense.

      This is not to say that I am in that situation or that I need to do this - all I'm saying is that there are countless outside influences that could make you willin
      • I understand in a way, but I think there are unintended consequences that can't be fully understood.

        Somehow, I doubt that the said daughter would want anything to do with life without a parent. Children can be ungrateful in ways. I would also think there would be major pssychological issues if they knew that one of their parents was dissected so that they can live. I don't think it is info that can be kept from a child forever, so what would they think when they did find out.
      • there is no limit to how far humans will go. In the future as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer people will be having kids just to sell them for parts for the rich who have destroyed their livers through drinking and lungs though smoking.

        There will also be nations who have nothing left to sell except their humans. They will be breeding slaves for that purpose.

        The problem with capitalism is that eventually everything will be a product
        • there is no limit to how far humans will go. In the future as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer people will be having kids just to sell them for parts for the rich who have destroyed their livers through drinking and lungs though smoking.

          Actually both smoking and drinking correspond negatively with wealth (i.e. the poor smoke/drink more than the rich).

          I actually see quite a different danger: that the poor gets increasingly irrelevant. If you go back a 100 years or so, there where poor, but th

          • "Today, the rich (and middle-class) increasingly find they have no use for the poor whatsoever. "

            Well they still need the poor to raise their kids, tend to their gardens, drive their cars etc. Likewise picking of fruit and vegetables isn't being done with machines yet either. Apparently though our poor are not poor enough, we have to import them from mexico and even ship our work to them in vietnam (cos those fucking mexicans charge too much god dammit!). But I see where you are coming from.

            No need to worry
    • > he did tell me...it was a simple matter of going to miami where jewish doctors (I'm repeating what I was told, so I'm not going to alter it to remove any racial / religious references

      This is a particularly vicious slur, given the history of antisemitic blood libels [wikipedia.org] against the Jews.

      Saying that you are "just repeating" what you were told is weak. You are spreading bigoted rumors.

      The fact that drivel like this can get modded up to +5 is astonishing, and quite sad.

  • The 1956 movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers is basically a riff on the 1951 Heinlein [wikipedia.org] novel, The Puppet Masters, which originated the concept of aliens taking over people's minds. Larry Niven's "Known Space" universe has "organleggers."
  • by Quirk ( 36086 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @10:07PM (#14806236) Homepage Journal
    Patients needing transplants must contend with their own immune systems rejecting transplants. The immune system has a self/nonself approach to tissue. Matching tissue as close as possible to lower the possibility of tissue rejection amounts to looking for a 1 in 100,000 match.

    From the pdf file the_immune_system [nih.gov]:

    Immunology and Transplants

    Each year thousands of American lives are prolonged by transplanted organs -- kidney,heart,lung,liver,and pancreas.For a transplant to "take," however,,the body 's natural tendency to rid itself of foreign tissue must be overridden. One way,tissue typing ,makes sure markers of self on the donor 's tissue are as similar as possible to those of the recipient.Each cell has a double set of 6 major tissue antigens,and each of the antigens exists, in different individuals,in as many as 20 varieties.The chance of 2 people having identical transplant antigens is about 1 in 100,000.

    Transplant patients must first overcome these odds. If it were me I think my tendency would be to breathe a sigh of relief at having found donor tissue and that relief might make me tend to put questions about tissue health on the back burner.

  • Tainted tissue (Score:3, Informative)

    by thewiz ( 24994 ) * on Sunday February 26, 2006 @10:11PM (#14806241)
    For those of you who wonder about how they test for "tainted" tissue, it's rather easy:
    Does the patient now have a disease that they didn't have before the transplant? Were they at risk to contract the disease independently of the transplant? If someone who has been married for 50 years suddenly shows up with AIDS, hepititis, etc. it's a pretty good bet it's from the transplant and not risky sexual behaviour. You assess the patient and see if a new condition they are experiencing is due to lifestyle or other factors.
    • Tissue rejection will kill you faster than Hepatitis or AIDS. Those can take 15-20 yrs, tissue rejection can kill you in a matter of months. Of course having no liver/heart can kill you even quicker. You make the call..risk catching a disease that is treatable but will eventually kill you in a decade or dying in a matter of days/weeks/months? If the tissue matches 99.9% are NOT going to ask where it came from, and in most cases the system does not allow the Docs to tell you where they got it.
  • If I get him a kidney transplant, it'll give him another few years. I live in Manhattan where an operation like this is cost-prohibitive, but I'm willing to drive wherever it takes to get this done. Any of you know where I can get a cheap kitty kidney? My dog's getting old -- can cats accept k-9 organs? Thanks, sorry to get off topic.
    • You're not joking... are you?

      Your cat is as able to accept a dog kidney as you are. Which is to say, not at all. Even if you could find a vet who would do a cat kidney transplant, your cat will not be happy living on anti-rejection drugs anyway. Make him comfortable, put him to sleep when it is time. Such is the unavoidable tragedy of pet ownership.
      • I've always wondered why we deem it acceptable to put our loved ones or ourselves through this sort of hell, but when it comes to our animals we're almost perfectly able to say "let them die in as much peace, comfort, and dignity as possible." :-(

        GP- I'm sorry about your kitty. They're so fully desert adapted that unless it's injury or disease it's the kidneys that go first.. at least it's fast.
        • Other animals not being as intelligent as humans (and shorter-lived in the case of most housepets such as dogs and cats), they really don't have much to live for if they become so ill.
  • by slashname3 ( 739398 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @10:14PM (#14806251)
    The proper term for this practice is organlegging, not body snatching. Read Larry Niven to see where this may go.
    • Niven had us accomplishing interstellar travel before figuring out how to grow organs without harvesting from living people. Somehow I think we'll figure out the latter before the former, just based on the raw bulk of medical research compared to space travel research.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday February 26, 2006 @10:15PM (#14806254) Homepage Journal
    Every organ transplant recipient should be strongly pressured to donate all their own organs when they die, if they're in acceptable condition. And the transplanting doctors should share some of the money they receive for the operation with the donor's family (or other beneficiary). The death of the donor should be sufficient prohibition for selling their organs. If it's not, the indestructible illegal trade will offer a market anyway.

    Along these lines, I don't know why there's always such a severe blood shortage. Most people receiving blood transfusions schedule their surgery weeks or months in advance. It only takes a couple of weeks for drawn blood to regenerate. They should all have drawn the maximum they can handle from the moment their requirements are known until their surgery. And after they recover, they should submit even more. They should count primarily on their own autologous donations, which tax the healthcare system so much less by "matching the donor" without extensive tests and mistakes, as well as leaving the donations of other people alone. Everyone who receives blood from a stranger even once should have to donate at least once a year for several following years, health permitting. Maybe they should receive discounts on their own care when "giving back", maybe they should be required to donate if "in the system" for receiving from strangers. But there's absolutely no reason that scheduled blood demands should offer anything but a pool of donors, instead of the overwhelming demand we see now.
    • I really like this idea. Part of the agreement is that you must donate your organs when you die - You in effect are GPL'ing yourself.
      • Yes, the GPL will likely strongly influence the 21st Century overall with its "viral opt-in community" pattern. I hope it's as powerful a tool in self-organizing mutal development cooperation as was the "corporation" pattern's centralized competition in the 20th Century. Our own bodies are a very strong arena in which to establish the GPL power.
    • Overall,I do like the idea that you should give back what you got. Kind of the Good Samaritan approach. I thought most of the demand for blood was due to accidents/trauma, not elective/routine surgery. Newer operating techniques make blood loss a lot less than before, even open heart surgery only requires a few pints in most cases. But Problem is the health care system CHARGED you for that blood (unless it was your own)which they got almost FREE so they should PAY you for the blood you give back or refund
      • The blood shortage is a question of scalability. Both surprise trauma and planned surgery deplete the same blood banks, offset only by voluntary donors. So planned surgery should generate a surplus, as well as eliminate its drain on the supply.

        As for the organs, some will be tainted by the therapies required for successful transplants, even of other organs. But every little bit helps. My proposal is really just a way to make transplant recipients "pay their own way", and then some. That "help yourself" appr
    • I'm a regular blood donor, I'm on the bone marrow donor registry, and my family and friends all know I approve of my organs being donated (they think it's strange since i dislike most people so much, but they're ok with it). I would totally agree with and promote this kind of approach to blood donation. I pass out every other time i give blood (450 mL units, not even full ones- I don't weigh enough) and I keep doing it! It makes no sense. Go donate some blood, people. It's easy, and you get free snacks and
      • When I ran the bloodbank near NYC for an 800-bed blood/trauma/AIDS center, we discarded any unused (expired) blood for destruction. O- is the most in demand (no type factors) for any patient, including O+ and O- recipients, but O+ is almost as in demand. So I expect there's no chance your blood is going for corporate profit, even if some AB+ might conceivably go that way. I never heard of such a practice, but I've been out of the game for over a decade.
      • One of my current co-workers used to work there and told me they sell the excess or unsuitable blood to comsetic companies for use in protein shampoos and such.

        I'm guessing, but I very strongly doubt it, for two reasons:

        (a) Anything extracted from a human is a potential biohazard. It would be really dumb to deal with all the extra red tape and limited supply of human blood (because there won't be a consistent oversupply) to your shampoos when you could just use something like pig blood.

        (b) I remember seein
        • it seemed unlikely (I work in medical lab testing and have been in pharamceutical manufacturing, and am fairly familiar with biohazard regs), but I've never caught the gentleman in question in a lie. He may well have fallen foul of one of those corporate myths we've all been guilty of spreading from time to time about things we as worker bees just don't know about and don't know who to ask for the real answer.

          I certainly don't worry much about what's in my shampoo beyond it had better have some sodium laure
    • by martinX ( 672498 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @12:29AM (#14806567)
      I live in Australia where the Australian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (ARCBTS) collects and co-ordinates blood donations.

      In the 80s - 90s, I worked in a pathology lab where we both screened the donors and crossmatched for recipients. This was when HIV was well established to be a bit more than "teh ghey dizzez" and the Next Big Worry was Hep C, for which there wasn't a reliable antigen test at the time (remember, cost is everything - a $100 test might not be used for a disease with 0.1% incidence because of the massive cost of it).

      The subject of autologous transfusions came up often, and the ARCBTS was generally against it for several reasons:
      - patient selection
      - the logistics of collection
      - the logistics of storage
      - the logistics of giving it back

      Selection
      Who is able to donate blood prior to surgery? Who isn't? The very old and the very young can't. Those with anaemia can't, neither can those undergoing chemo or radiotherapy. Those with blood-borne diseases shouldn't. Obviously only reasonably health people having elective surgery can. Smallish pool of people that.

      Do they need to give blood? Depends on the type of surgery. Most surgery doesn't require a blood transfusion unless something goes wrong. Some surgery (open heart, for example) requires more blood than a single person can be expected to give.

      Collection:
      Since 99% of donations are from anonymous donors, it would be difficult to segregate directed donations to ensure they don't get lost in the system. At the moment, a bag of O+ is just a bag of O+. Once it's cleared, it doesn't matter who it's from or where it ends up as long as it gets transfused into a compatible recipient. Having to track each bag individually would add enormously to the cost of collection, as well as increase the chance of "lost" bags. Just like luggage, these things happen. Also, bags may get mislabelled. If there's a group mismatch, these things will be picked up on crossmatching, but if the're not different groups, then the patient will receive someone else's blood. Because of this, I would never issue autologous blood without performing a crossmatch, so there's no cost saving to be found by using autologous.

      These hassles can be overcome, but it's a cost issue.

      Storage:
      Blood is usually separated into plasma which is frozen (I can't remember how long fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is good for - it's a couple of years. hey, it's been a while since I worked in the field...) and red cells, which are refrigerated. The red cells are only good for a month, and even then a month is stretching it. The general rule is not to transfuse someone until they need two units, so a single unit donation that's to be refrigerated is useless. It would be medically negligent to get more than monthly donations from someone prior to surgery, since they'd be going into surgery with volumetric anaemia so you'd have to begin the process quite a few months prior.

      Red cells can be successfully frozen, but the process is more difficult than that required by FFP, as is the thawing process. It requires labs to have more expensive equipment, preparing for transfusions will take longer (have to thaw out the cells), and if the surgery is cancelled at the last minute, then I don't think re-freezing the cells would be an option.

      Giving it back:
      The blood will still have to be crossmatched, assuming it can be thawed in time. Surgery schedules get moved all the time, not necessarily for the benefit of the blood transfusion staff.

      Although your idea is meritorious and seems logical, it would be difficult and expensive to implement.

      • I don't know why segregating and targeting autologous units is appreciably more expensive than anonymous donation. Even in the mid-late 1980s our bloodbank's hundreds of inventory units were tracked individually by barcode, for audit in the event of complication. The few autologous units at that early date were processed exactly the same way, except they were stored in their own row of the refrigerator for convenience, and prevention of selection on request by another recipient. If anything, the reduced was
  • by Ranger ( 1783 )
    I'd like to see a taint [wikipedia.org] transplant.
  • When 46-year-old Jeff Reynolds was told by his doctor that the bone fragments used to repair his neck had come from a suspect company...

    You thought that now they're turning 60 their influence is starting to wane.... WELL YOU'RE WRONG! Your body parts are their new status symbols! Nothing will prepare you for the horror, the mayhem and the fright of :

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers II: Revenge and Resurrection of the Aging Baby Boomers
    (Sountrack by the Greatful Dead)

    //burn karma burn!

  • As long as there is big money to be made in medicine, this will be a problem. I'm not saying that doctors should work cheap. Just saying big money brings out the criminal element. No doubt they will find this has been going on a long time.
  • The most tragic outcome of this story is that it might discourage tissue and organ donation. The advantages of tissue donation in particular are not as widely known as they should be. Where organ donation requires tissue type matching, tissue donation does not, and tissue donation is an option for far more people who want to make a contribution after death (including the elderly and many who are in very poor shape at the time of death). It can be an option for those dying at home under hos

    • Part of the problem is the current system for donating organs. Most organ donor cards, or license endorsements, are a blank check for the removal of organs and tissues. I will not sign such a card because it is incompatible with my religious beliefs, which do permit organ donation when there is a specific and immediate need, but prohibit the strip-mining of the body for organs and tissues that might be useful to someone.
    • Very insightful comment -- tissue donation is one of the most altruistic (and underrated) things one can do for society. However, I had a chance to see an organ procurement procedure while shadowing, and it really turns your stomach to see physicians rummage through the body looking for spare parts (i.e.:

      "On my 3rd year surgery rotation at about 2am one night we had a harvest of an 8yo boy killed in a car accident (he was riding his bike). It was awful, everyone came in and just took what they wanted like i
  • I'm a healthy young guy, and let's say I need money badly so I decide to sell one of my kidneys to the highest bidder. I can still live perfectly healthy with one kidney left.

    I would be arrested because this is illegal! Why? Because Big Brother decided it was unethical to sell organs? Because fundamentalist Christians would be offended? Or Greenpeace and ACLU thought sanctity of human life should not be for sale? What exactly is the deal here?

    The kind of sleazy dealings mentioned in TFA come about precisely
    • Some contracts are void because they are against public policy. Prostitution is illegal in most places. You can't auction off a baby.

      Society, via the law, has decided that an unrestricted market in human organs is undesirable. Do we want a society in which the poor are an organ bank for the rich?

    • 'cause carrying around a fortune of liquid assets on your person all the time (even at night in dark alleys) may be a bad idea?

      Making these things easy to trade for money just creates a market that most folks wouldn't be happy with...

      At least if someone does mug you in a dark alley, they wouldn't take your kidney (unless that was their purpose to begin with).
  • for a broken spine. The very first thing they said was they wanted to use cadaver bone for the fusion. I said "HELL NO. HELL NO." and for good measure I threw in a few extra "HELL NO."s
    There was no way they could prove to my satisfaction that the material would be totally clean and disease free. It wasn't going to happen. They would find a different way or I would do without the surgery.

    That really torqued off the doctors, they acted all insulted that I would even suggest something like that but it's m
    • That really torqued off the doctors

      That's just doctors. 95% of 'em will get pissed off if you so much as open your mouth to ask "why?", much less if you do something like express a capacity for independent thought and reason. Like politicians or the RIAA, they expect you to do whatever the fuck they tell you to do and to praise them after for their enormous wisdom, no matter how things turn out. Defying a doctor is on par with telling the pope to go fuck himself.

      Good thing I'm an atheist.

      Max
  • Odd that the article doesn't mention the high-profile body-part-snatching case that made the news a couple months back--the cancerous bones of renowned news commentator and Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke [wikipedia.org] were removed and sold for transplanting. That case more than any other is probably what brought the practice to media attention.
    • It's part of the same case. Alistair Cooke is probably their most famous victim.

      I'm surprised that the victims' relatives haven't caught up with the ringleaders and arranged some involuntary organ and tissue donations.

  • An economic analysis [econlib.org] on the sale of human organs.

    6000 Americans will die this year because of the lack of available organs. A (regulated) market could ensure this doesn't occur.
  • Cue Breughal and Mahler.

    (Ob genius TV show reference - explanation mostly to make sure the bogofilter doesn't get me.)

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce

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