Short Takes: “Tales From the Organ Trade”

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Tales From the Organ Trade

HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS

With “king of venereal horror” David Cronenberg narrating, you’d expect stories of people being drugged and dragged onto filthy operating tables, only to awaken with a kidney missing. Actually, director Ric Esther Bienstock makes a decent argument for the sale of kidneys on a regulated market. The World Health Organization, among others, condemns the very notion as the ultimate in First World exploitation, yet some of the so-called victims tell Bienstock how selling a kidney saved them from a life of poverty. As for the well-heeled ill, the choice may boil down to death versus a less-than-ethical transaction. Which would you choose?

This review originally appeared in our November/December issue of Mother Jones.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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