The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

Scott Carney. Morrow, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-193646-3
Journalist Carney investigates the burgeoning underground economy in human organs, the world's "red market," in which bones, kidneys, ligaments, wombs, and human hair are harvested from the world's poorest people and sent to shore up faltering American and European bodies. "In Egypt, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, entire villages sell organs, rent wombs," he writes. And the illusion that people selling their tissue "benefit from the transaction" is a devastating fantasy. "People who sell bodies and body parts rarely see their lives improved," he writes, and his accounts of the "body bazaar" are chilling: an Indian farmer who imprisoned men for years at a time in order to drain their blood for profit; Chinese prisons that treat their populations as de facto organ farms; Western families adopting children they believe are orphans who are, in reality, kidnapped. An important examination of the politics of "the red market" and the inequities that make it possible, the book makes a persuasive case that we must acknowledge and take responsibility for the red market, and medical innovation must be accompanied by ethical checks and "radical transparency"—lest our medical achievements precipitate horrific human cost. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-207958-9
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-986-173-734-8
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