Poor prey for people parts

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

Recent Must Reads

12/12 – Grizzlies headed for grisly end

12/9 – Biodiversity buys the farm

12/8 – Bigger and badder corporations

12/7 – Talking ourselves out of conservation

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.

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.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate