Thursday, March 13, 2008

Buy a kidney for 20 000 E.P

Did you know that the price for a kidney is about 20 000 Egyptian pounds and that part of your liver could be worth the double amount?

Fleishman/el Hennawy has yet another interesting piece in today´s LA Times about the black market business of human organs in Egypt. Donors and patients alike have one thing in common, their desperation.

The story of donor Ayman Abdullah:

Ayman Abdullah was an accountant in Upper Egypt when he and his brother decided to take their parents' savings and move to Cairo to open a cellphone shop. In a nation that's mostly desert, Cairo is a gritty, crowded neon promise of minarets and high-rise banks that attracts those willing to risk what little they have. Others who had left Abdullah's village had made a fortune in the city, or so went the stories that trickled back home.

Abdullah and his brother trusted a man -- he called himself a partner -- more than they should have. The man vanished with the money, and suddenly the brothers were 75,000 pounds, or about $13,700, in debt.

"I have two choices: Pay my debts or go to jail," says Abdullah, a heavyset man in a sweater, who sits in a cafe hoping to negotiate part of his liver for 40,000 pounds. "I can't find any other solution. It's either the operation or I lose my freedom. . . . I started looking for ads where kidney patients look for donors, but I realized that the maximum amount of money I could get for a kidney is 20,000 pounds. Then in the same newspaper, I found an ad by a liver patient."

Let me end with words from MP Muhammed Quetta whom have been trying to legislate on the matter for years, an area without any real legislation.

"It's the worst kind of business in Egypt. It's worse than slavery," says Queita, who has no comprehensive statistics but notes that one Cairo clinic had a waiting list of 1,500 people willing to sell their organs. "I don't want the poor turned into spare parts for the rich. . . . People are coming from all over to buy organs in Egypt. They're mainly gulf Arabs. If you're a rich man from the gulf, you go to a private Egyptian hospital that has contacts with organ brokers. Serious cases of poverty in this country are causing an increase in the theft and sale of organs."

I´m sorry for the rushed blogpost, but i thought it was such an interesting topic, so bare with me , in terms of style and go and read the piece in full!

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8:26 AM  
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2:10 PM  

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