The New Organ Bazaars
Turkey and Eastern Europe are all set to take over from India and China as the new “organ bazaars” for trade in kidneys. In an all too familiar tale it has been established that unscrupulous surgeons pay brokers or “kidney hunters” a commission for every donor they bring in. Seller receives $3000 to $10,000 for a kidney, however, recipients anywhere from $60,000 to $1, 00,000 for the operation. In recent years, brokers have extended their range beyond Turkey to Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. One of the surgeons in Turkey, implicated in this racket is Dr. Yousef Sonmez, a graduate of the Istanbul University Medical College. By 1997 Sonmez was performing so many transplants it drew the attention of an investigative team at an Istanbul television station, which set up a ‘sting operation’. Hidden cameras captured the initial contact between an actor posing as a rural man willing to sell a kidney and the local “kidney hunter”, the discussion of an $800 selling price with Sonmez, and a visit to a notary to sign the necessary documents. The reporter and cameras confronted Sonmez just as he and the “donor” were about to enter the operating room of Mayon Hospital in Istanbul. Charges were brought against Sonmez, and his license was revoked for 6 months.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: Organ, Bazaars, Turkey, Eastern Europe