Better buy than die?
Scroll.in | August 3, 2016
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By Sanjay Nagral
Back in 2004, in an editorial for the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics on a kidney transplant racket, I began by saying, "In our scandal-prone Indian public life, one scandal distinguishes itself by the amazing regularity with which it hits the headlines every few years. The only variation is its shift from one city to another as if in planned rotation. Thanks to the desperation, ingenuity and collusion of the players involved, the Indian kidney bazaar, as it was crudely described at some stage in its history, refuses to die down."
I ended the piece by offering a rather polemical solution: "The battle against this practice must be fought at two levels. The first is in the realm of the law and monitoring agencies. The second is an ideological battle against what is essentially a violation of human rights and a form of social exploitation of the worst kind. Otherwise, we will suffer the same cycle of rackets being exposed periodically."
That statement, though not meant to be a prediction, has unfortunately turned out to be true. The latest act in this sordid saga is the one currently playing out in a Mumbai hospital. While the Human Organ Transplant Act of 1994 partly succeeded in curbing the then blatant kidney bazaar that thrived in the 70s and 80s, periodic exposés since then show that it continues in a more discreet fashion...