Poor prey for people parts

| Wed Dec. 13, 2000 4:00 AM EST

Everyone's heard the urban legend about a person who wakes up in a drugged haze to discover that her kidney has been surgically removed. To people in some parts of the world, that spooky rumor is apparently all too true.

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In an interview published in FREEZERBOX, a Canadian physician reports that such incidents take place routinely in many poor countries where organ trafficking is big business. Some organ thieves, he says, will regularly attack -- and even kill -- homeless people and children to make off with the valuable organs.

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Demand for human body parts, particularly from wealthy countries, keeps the global black market for gizzards booming. A human heart, the physician says, can fetch $5,000 and each gram of bone is worth many times its weight in cocaine.

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