Organ trafficking

Lucien Wang, King George V School
Lucien Wang, King George V School |

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Organ trafficking is becoming an acute problem, especially within Southeast Asia. Numerous local men, women and even children have been scarred, abused and exploited. In this billion-dollar industry, organs are mercilessly farmed from victims by trafficking gangs.

The World Health Organisation estimates that one in 10 of all organ-transfer operations conducted in 2010 may have been procured by black marketeers.

The market for organs is vast. Almost any healthy organ can be sold: corneas, kidneys, lungs, livers. With the rising rates of diabetes, high-blood pressure and heart problems, demand for organs is far outstripping supply.

Poor people are exploited and often tricked or coerced into selling their organs. Yet there is hope. In the "opt-out" system, which is in place in many European countries, citizens are automatically placed on an organ-donor list, unless they choose to "opt out" of an organ donation. And this system works.

Germany uses a reverse "opt-in" system, by which citizens can choose to become organ donors should they die in an accident. The country has an organ donation consent rate of 12 per cent. Austria, which uses an "opt-out" system, has a consent rate of 99.88 per cent.

We should all be willing to have our organs harvested after we die so that others can live.