Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blood farmers, baby-sellers and kidney peddlers

The "red market" of Scott Carney's lucid and alarming book refers to the various medical activities through which the human body can generate a profit: surrogate motherhood, organ transplantation, drug testing, baby selling and blood farming, to mention just a few items on Mr. Carney's disturbing list. The buyers of red-market goods are usually well-to-do Westerners, while the sellers tend to come from developing countries. A surprisingly large number of the sellers are women, and many appear to be forced into the business. Middlemen, beyond taking large profits, encourage the trade by assuring buyers that the transaction is conducted ethically. The dramatic medical benefits sanction what would otherwise be seen as exploitation. "The crimes are covered up," Mr. Carney writes, "in a veil of altruistic ideals."

Read more in the WSJ.

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