We have all heard about the stories and have seen the movies in which the protagonist wakes up in a tub covered in tons of ice and stitches in his side only to realize that he was a victim of organ theft. There have been many movies surrounding this horrid topic, and many people believe this concept is fictitious; however these movies have partial truth to them. There are many cases across the globe in which people have been given faulty organs, and cases in which doctors have been caught in the act of harvesting organs from deceased patients, but all of these cases are a result of one single issue. The violence surrounding global organ theft and trafficking is a direct result of lengthy periods of time for legal transplants, and the only way to prevent or completely resolve this issue is to re-examine the waiting process for transplants.
Aliaksei Yafimau, as are most people, was always looking for an opportunity to make some quick cash, and he found this through what he thought was a profitable advertisement online that told that him he could receive a great deal of money for one of his kidneys. At 30 years old, Yafimau’s profession was installing satellite television systems in Babrujsk, Belarus for meager wages. He saw this simple operation as a step towards getting out of poverty and within a short period of time he was transported to Quito, Ecuador where he was held against his will for over a month until surgeons could remove his kidney. He was held captive by Roini Shimshilashvili, an enforcer for of an international trafficking ring, who was an intimidating former kick-boxer. Yafimau pleaded with Shimshilashvili to let him back out of the deal and return to his home in Belarus; however, he was denied and threatened. He was told that if he didn’t go through with the operation, he would be left in Ecuador and his family would be killed. Yafimau’s left kidney was transplanted into an Israeli woman in July of 2010, and on the plane ride back to Belarus, Shimshilashvili told him that if he went to the police and informed them of the details surrounding his illegal operation, he would be killed. Yafimau was paid $10,000 for his kidney, but he says that it isn’t worth the fear that he constantly lives with (Glovin, 2011).
Dorin Razlog is one of the many poor people in Ghincauti, Moldova, and he earns a meager pay working as a Shepard. He is in his 30’s but only has an 8th grade education level which leaves him with very few ways to escape his current state of poverty. He was confronted by recruiters from organ trafficking ring who informed him that he could receive $10,000 for one of his kidney’s and he went through with the harvesting operation believing that this was in his best interest. After the operation, he was paid $7,000 ($3,000 less than what they promised to pay him) and $2,500 of that was useless after realizing that he was paid with counterfeit bills. He was then told that if he spoke to anybody about the operation, they would destroy his house and kill his family. Looking back on his actions, Dorin regrets his decision because after all the money he received was gone, all he was left with was incredible pain and suffering from his operation (Glovin, 2011).
Yafimau, and Dorin are just several of the many thousands of people that are victims of organ transplants every year. Francis Delmonico, an adviser on issues regarding organ transplants to the World Health Organization, claims that approximately 5,000 people sell their organs to the black market every year. He accredits this to increased numbers of people that require organ transplants in relation to the limited number of organs available, and as a result, organ trafficking is on the rise. Organ trafficking is illegal in every country except Iran, but it continues because the trafficking rings target those who dwell in impoverished countries and they use...