Organ Trafficking in Eastern Europe

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

According to scholars, reports of organ thefts and related abductions, mainly of children, have been rife in Poland and Russia at least since 1991. The buyers are supposed to be rich Arabs.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, an anthropologist atrepparttar University of California at Berkeley and co-founder of Organs Watch, a research and documentation center, is also a member and co-author ofrepparttar 119241 Bellagio Task Force Report on Transplantation, Bodily Integrity andrepparttar 119242 International Traffic in Organs. In a report presented in June 2001 torepparttar 119243 House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, she substantiated at leastrepparttar 119244 nationality ofrepparttar 119245 alleged buyers, though notrepparttar 119246 urban legends regarding organ theft:

"Inrepparttar 119247 Middle East residents ofrepparttar 119248 Gulf States (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman) have for many years traveled to India,repparttar 119249 Philippines, and to Eastern Europe to purchase kidneys made scarce locally due to local fundamentalist Islamic teachings that allow organ transplantation (to save a life), but prohibit organ harvesting from brain-dead bodies.

Meanwhile, hundreds of kidney patients from Israel, which has its own well -developed, but under-used transplantation centers (due to ultra-orthodox Jewish reservations about brain death) travel in 'transplant tourist' junkets to Turkey, Moldova, Romania where desperate kidney sellers can be found, and to Russia where an excess of lucrative cadaveric organs are produced due to lax standards for designating brain death, and to South Africa whererepparttar 119250 amenities in transplantation clinics in private hospitals can resemble four star hotels.

We found in many countries - from Brazil and Argentina to India, Russia, Romania, Turkey to South Africa and parts ofrepparttar 119251 United States - a kind of 'apartheid medicine' that dividesrepparttar 119252 world into two distinctly different populations of 'organs supplies' and 'organs receivers'."

Russia, together with Estonia, China and Iraq, is, indeed, a major harvesting and trading centre. International news agencies described, two years ago, how a grandmother in Ryazan tried to sell her grandchild to a mediator. The boy was to be smuggled torepparttar 119253 West and there dismembered for his organs. The uncle, who assisted inrepparttar 119254 matter, was supposed to collect $70,000 - a fortune in Russian terms.

When confronted byrepparttar 119255 European Union on this issue, Russia responded that it lacksrepparttar 119256 resources required to monitor organ donations. The Italian magazine, Happy Web, reports that organ trading has taken torepparttar 119257 Internet. A simple query onrepparttar 119258 Google search engine yields thousands of Web sites purporting to sell various body parts - mostly kidneys - for up to $125,000. The sellers are Russian, Moldovan, Ukrainian and Romanian.

Scheper-Hughes, an avid opponent of legalizing any form of trade in organs, says that "in general,repparttar 119259 movement and flow of living donor organs - mostly kidneys - is from South to North, from poor to rich, from black and brown to white, and from female to male bodies".

Yet, this summer, bowing to reality,repparttar 119260 American Medical Association commissioned a study to examinerepparttar 119261 effects of paying for cadaveric organs would have onrepparttar 119262 current shortage. The 1984 National Organ Transplant Act that forbids such payments is also under attack. Bills to amend it were submitted recently by several Congressmen. These are steps inrepparttar 119263 right direction.

Organ trafficking isrepparttar 119264 outcome ofrepparttar 119265 international ban on organ sales and live donor organs. But wherever there is demand there is a market. Excruciating poverty of potential donors, lengthening patient waiting lists andrepparttar 119266 better quality of organs harvested from live people make organ sales an irresistible proposition. The medical professions and authorities everywhere would do better to legalize and regulaterepparttar 119267 trade rather than transform it into a form of organized crime. The denizens of Moldova would surely appreciate it.

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

How to Select a Divorce Lawyer

Written by Scott Morgan

Continued from page 1


When you make your initial appointment withrepparttar divorce attorney, you should inquire about a consultation fee. Some lawyers do brief initial consultations for free, although most experienced divorce lawyers will charge between $100.00 and $200.00 as a consultation fee, or will charge their normal hourly rate.

For example, I charge a flat $100.00 consultation fee with no additional hourly charges, regardless ofrepparttar 119240 length ofrepparttar 119241 meeting. Essentially,repparttar 119242 consultation fee is to "weed out" those people who are not serious aboutrepparttar 119243 possibility of hiring me. Given that my normal hourly rate is $200.00/hour andrepparttar 119244 usual typical consultation takes about 90 minutes,repparttar 119245 charge for my consultation is significantly discounted. Therefore, you shouldn't let a consultation fee scare you away from interviewing a particular lawyer.

Duringrepparttar 119246 consultation it is vitally important that you have a candid discussion withrepparttar 119247 prospective divorce lawyer about fees and what you can expect. Typically, an experienced divorce lawyer will requirerepparttar 119248 payment of a substantial retainer up front, against which that lawyer's hourly rate and expenses will be charged. You should find out what that lawyer's hourly rate is, whatrepparttar 119249 up front retainer will be, whether any portion ofrepparttar 119250 retainer is refundable if it is not exhausted, and how often you can expect to receive invoices that detail their hourly charges and expenses. You also will want to know how detailedrepparttar 119251 invoices are. Once again, this is another area where you can get excellent information from those people who have been clients of that divorce lawyer.


While allrepparttar 119252 above issues are important, there is one final question you should ask yourself before hiring a divorce lawyer. Are you comfortable with that lawyer and are you confident in his or her abilities? Ifrepparttar 119253 answer is anything other than a resounding "yes," you should keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence.

Scott Morgan is a Houston attorney who practices exclusively in the field of divorce and family law. He has practiced family law in Texas since 1994. For more information see his website:

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