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The Global Body Market
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Book description

Black and gray markets for body parts are illegal, but also pioneering and inventive. Although this type of criminal activity requires dexterity and innovation, these markets thrive and flourish, sometimes in view of law. On the other hand, altruistic procurement is mired by low participation, which encourages black market transactions. Thousands of patients die each year waiting for an organ or bone marrow donation through the altruistic procurement system, so some turn to the dark side. This book offers a frank discussion of altruism in the global body market. It exposes how researchers exploit their patients' ignorance to harvest tissue samples, blood, and other biologics without consent, chronicles exploitation in the name of altruism, including the non-consensual use of children in dangerous clinical trials, and analyzes social and legal commitments to the value of altruism - offering an important critique of the vulnerability of altruism to corruption, coercion, pressure, and other negative externalities.


‘Since the 2006 publication of her paradigm-shifting Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Human Body Parts, Michele Goodwin has offered startling perceptions into the commercial nature of many ‘altruistic' transactions. As editor of this nuanced but visionary volume … [she] has gathered experts from various disciplines and stances: its writers are joined not by ideology but by their deep knowledge and an ability to keep you closely engaged through gripping case histories that read like novellas and inform like cutting-edge textbooks. Despite the authors' differing disciplines and stances, the book retains the harmony of a quilt, although its caveats provide little of its comfort. Several recent works have focused on life, health and the dollar, but this game-changing volume will take you where others don't.'

Harriet A. Washington - author of Medical Apartheid and Deadly Monopolies

‘Scientific advances are rapidly increasing the possibilities for our bodies and body parts to be shared with others. Within the professions rhetorical warfare has erupted with extreme options the norm. Pure altruism on the part of donors or free markets with bodies and body parts sold or rented to the highest bidder are proposed. The Global Body Market is an indispensable guide to avoiding the land mines and developing common sense policies that save lives and protect donors from exploitation and coercion.'

Frances Kissling - President, Center for Health, Ethics and Social Policy

‘Michele Goodwin captures the excruciatingly complex tension between the apparent altruism of those attempting to provide safe, ethical, and professional transplantation options and those preying upon the sick, frightened, and dying. Professor Goodwin is a medico-legal sleuth, bringing together world-class experts from multiple fields in a collaborative effort to inform and educate us - brilliantly - about this translucent world where law, medicine, public health, crime, life, and death intertwine.'

George Woods - University of California Law School, Secretary General, International Academy of Law and Mental Health, and Fellow, American Psychiatric Association

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