While organ transplantation is often highly successful in saving lives, it has created an illicit, but thriving, trade in human organs, including kidneys, livers, and corneas sourced from living bodies of the desperate poor. Based on challenging ethnographic fieldwork with seventy organ sellers, along with a group of recipients, brokers, and doctors, this article explains how organ trade results in violence, exploitation, and suffering against the vulnerable, who sell their live organs on the black market of Bangladesh. In opposition to allowing a “regulated organ market,” I argue that such a market is not a magic bullet that by itself would eliminate deception, coercion, and corruption that exist in the illegal trade of vital organs, nor would it ensure equity, rights, and justice to organ sellers. Instead, a regulated market would exacerbate, institutionalize, and normalize violence, exploitation, and suffering against impoverished populations. I, therefore, conclude that organ trade needs to be condemned, as there are alternative ways to resolve organ shortages. I suggest that government authorities must enact stringent laws, ensure ethical transparency, and encourage cadaveric donations to combat organ trafficking worldwide.
Against a Regulated Market in Human Organs: Ethical Arguments and Ethnographic Insights from the Organ Trade in Bangladesh
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Monir Moniruzzaman; Against a Regulated Market in Human Organs: Ethical Arguments and Ethnographic Insights from the Organ Trade in Bangladesh. Human Organization 1 December 2018; 77 (4): 323–335. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/0018-7218.104.22.1683
Download citation file: