Illegal kidney sale scandal in Turkey, daily reports
ISTANBULA man who put his kidney up for sale on the internet three years ago claims that many people and even hospitals called him, even thought the procedure is illegal, daily Cumhuriyet has reported.
Soner Y. said he put his kidney up for sale three years ago on the internet when his business was in bankruptcy and he was in despair. He said all estates registered in his name were sold by his family to fund the bankruptcy and he thought he might use the money that would come from the kidney to settle his debt. After the advertisement went online, he was called many times by those who wanted to buy the kidney, he said.
“Hospitals from Istanbul and Ankara called me [to buy the kidney] and offered different prices. I know this is illegal but hospitals are very confident about it,” he said. He also claimed that he has seen many people trying to sell their kidneys for several reasons, such as paying their debts or for a mother who could not receive her subsistence money.
The price offered for the kidney ranged from 5,000 Turkish Liras to 600,000 liras, according to Soner Y.
After he set his business in order, he abandoned the idea of selling his kidney. However, the online add is still active and he said he is still receiving calls.
About 20,000 patients in Turkey are awaiting kidney transplants, while about 2,000 are waiting for livers, according to data released by the Health Ministry in November 2012. The ministry’s wait list for organ donation currently has 21,878 patients registered. Among them, 16 people need lungs, 19,466 need kidneys, 325 need hearts, 4 are waiting for heart valves and 216 are waiting for pancreases.
Despite the high number of patients awaiting organ transplants, the rate of organ donation remains insufficient. Generally, organs are transplanted from live human beings, something only possible for liver and kidney patients who have donors.