An unexpected effect of the European financial crisis – An increase in the illegal sale of body parts

From the New York Times:

 Pavle Mircov and his partner Daniella nervously scan their e-mail in-box every 15 minutes, desperate for economic salvation: a buyer willing to pay €30,000 for one of their kidneys.

The parents of two teenagers put their organs up for sale on a local online classified site six months ago after Mr. Mircov, 50, lost his job at a meat factory here. He says that even his pleas to work as a waiter have been rebuffed.

When his father recently died, he could not afford a tombstone. The telephone service has been cut off and the family lives in the dark to save on electricity. One meal a day of bread and salami is their only extravagance. “When you need to put food on the table, selling a kidney doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice,” Mr. Mircov said.

With Europe roiled by financial upheaval, experts say that the black market for human organs — traditionally based in China, India, Brazil and the Philippines — is expanding to crisis-hit Western countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, and poor Balkan nations like Serbia. Vulnerable, desperately poor people are seeking to sell their kidneys, lungs, bone marrow or corneas, abetted by the Internet, unscrupulous organ traffickers and a global shortage of organs for transplantation.

To read the complete story, click here.

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