Desperation spurs illegal kidney trade in Jordan

Here’s an article written by my good friend and journalist Suha Ma’ayeh on the illegal kidney trade in Jordan.

Jordan is battling a thriving black market trade in kidneys, fuelled by growing instances of kidney failure and a lack of genuine donors. The dangers of the trade were brought to light last month when the government said that over the past three years, 35 people had died in kidney transplants, many of whom had sold their organs. Last year, 81 cases of illegal organ trafficking were uncovered in Jordan, and several middlemen and medical service providers arrested, however, the vast majority are now free due to the lack of evidence. Also last year, authorities foiled three illegal transplant attempts after investigations revealed the sellers and recipients were not blood relatives.

A government survey, which studied 127 cases of kidney trade transactions in the past three years, showed that 90 per cent of those who sold their kidneys lived in absolute poverty, but with no criminal records.

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