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“Sell a kidney”: desperate Russians surrender themselves to the authorities

"Продам почку": доведенные до отчаяния россияне сдают себя на органы

If the score in the Internet search engine “I want to sell….”, the first thing that automatically POPs up “the kidney”. Internet robots give the most popular request…

A huge number of people today can’t see other solution to financial problems, but selling their own bodies. The feeling that they literally stand in line to sell and advertise themselves as butchers in the market: “don’t drink, don’t smoke, healthy as an ox. The good kidney, get cheap”.

We talked to potential donors and find out what pushes people to such a desperate step.


"Продам почку": доведенные до отчаяния россияне сдают себя на органы

photo: Sergei Ivanov


Help “MK”: the Russian legislation strictly prohibits the trafficking of organs. Under our law, a donor can only be the nearest blood relative (even husband/wife can’t) at no charge to either the victim (so-called cadaveric organs). However, it seems that no one knows about it. A query on the Internet gives millions of links from tips and warnings to special sites like “data Bank of donors of the Russian Federation”.


"Продам почку": доведенные до отчаяния россияне сдают себя на органы



“Healthy as an ox, don’t drink, don’t smoke”

“Completely healthy, candidate master of sports in my life, even the flu didn’t hurt… All questions and suggestions write to the post…”

“Due to the difficult circumstances of life willing to donate a kidney, I am 29 years old, bad habits have not. The cost of 3 500 000 roubles or apartment in Krasnoyarsk +1 000 000 rubles. Please call XXX after 15:00”.

“Become a donor! Urgently need money! Novosibirsk! Healthy, he does the heavy was never sick! Kidneys never beat! The body is sturdy and the kidney is good!”

“Young, sober and healthy 20 year old guy knowingly sell a kidney to the needy”.

“Healthy, don’t smoke or drink, the medical Board every year for work…”

These ads are thousands. The sale of organs is openly, directly, with links to pages in social networks.

Pick out a number. Represented a relative of the recipient who needs a new kidney. On the other end — a certain Alexander from Krasnoyarsk.

— Yes, sell! And how much? I am ready to any money.

It turns out that the man is 35 years old and about a year ago he was released from prison, which came for a fight.

— Sat three years. Before that I was fine, even good. Worked as a driver. And cargo carried, and so, on the bus were kalymin. My wife (now ex) even built the house themselves. I left after the divorce. And now here I am returned from places not so remote, and work will not take. Anywhere. Security is impossible — there by previous road ordered. Freight is also no. I and the seller, and carrier, and where only the already tried — no work and all! Winter somehow fell in Khanty-Mansiysk through a friend. Had worked a month, then cut, the money is not paid, from the Dorm got kicked out. I hitchhiked to Krasnoyarsk was getting. Then he called-called to these employers, some of them summon 4900 rubles. And that’s all!

— And to the labour exchange have not tried?

— Tried. Came, they have written down and then they say: money come on, if you want to work to get. I say, what money?! I walk out of the house was here, because even on a bus ticket I have no.

Is it really so bad?

— Girl, you’d be surprised — so much so that even nothing to eat. The fridge is empty! In our family, three men — me, father and younger brother. And all three of us are sitting without work. Well I, stayed. My father about a year ago decreased from the bus fleet, where he remained for 30 years. Brother too a few months can not get, he even went to the employment Agency, paid 6,000 rubles, was sentenced to a database of potential employers on five sheets. We called them up, but the rooms or inaccessible or do not exist, or no one required. Lied, in short. Yes we have half the town out of work. We live on the money that the mother earns as a nurse in a nursing home. I can’t live, I used to work to feed the family and help the family. And here the sponge. I gotta steal that? But I don’t want! So I decided to sell a kidney, not for yourself, for your family. Yes I am ready to sell the organs to be honest. Brother discourages me, says, don’t panic, we’ll think of something. Well so what, you want my kidney? Only money for tests I have, if you can, pay themselves.

I confessed to Alexander that from the newspaper.

– Sorry… Well, then at least write what I’m looking for a job. Any! I know all of it, and if you can’t, then just learn on the fly…

“Let the 20 years, but live as a man”

Money, money, money… kept telling me over the phone the same. “Stuck loans”, “banks sue me in court”, “bankrupt business”, “tired to exist, and so at least the sea will go”.

Some of the stories became especially not on itself.

— We have a child dying from a terrible disease, is sobbing into the phone Samir from Naberezhnye Chelny. — Painkillers alone cost at least 500 rubles per day. Those that give with a prescription. My wife and I decided to sell the kidney. To somehow alleviate the suffering of our daughter. She is only three years old, but the hospital did not help, only shrugging and discharged home to die….

I was advised to contact the charity, the relatives ask.

— Yes relatives shy away from us already, we all already have walked with an outstretched hand. Me at work and gave into debt 100 thousand. Everything in the abyss is gone, I didn’t even know where. And the funds I called, several. There’s a lot of paperwork, all take, bring, show. I work, wife and child sick not to wander around the offices. Yes I often elementary of money on a cell no to somewhere to call. So you need a kidney or not?

I hung up the phone. And transferred the man on the phone bill a small amount. To explain a desperate man, I’m from the newspaper and gather information, I just couldn’t.

In fairness it should be noted that along with despairing, I came across and those who go on such a step without extreme need. And this is also scary…

— I have six months to sell the kidney, says I am 41 year old resident of Saratov Michael. The tone it has, as if we are talking about selling the bike. — Yes, I know about all side effects. I was examined at the clinic, my second kidney is healthy, the doctors said I would live quietly with her at least twenty years. And I don’t need more, and don’t live with us anymore… You read, what is the life expectancy for men — 65. But the remaining time I live as a man. I have son now teach, the institutions expensive. Prices are rising, wages are falling. I never abroad was not on the sea not really rested. And so you want.

You have the ad is the sum of 27 million roubles. You want so much?

— Oh, you old on my ad ran. I used it so much wanted, when did not know the prices. I agree 10 million. All the tests I have fresh on hand. Please send your e-mail, I will send them to you.

— As other customers have already been contacted?

— Yes, I fall a little in Germany has not departed. But at the border it turned out that my exit was closed due tax debts. I never was in other countries and didn’t even know that we were so strictly. So the buyer fell through.

As I understand it, 10 000 000 — it is very expensive. Generally the range of prices is very different. Someone asks a million, someone three. Some appreciate their bodies in dollars.

In my humble request for donor search was showered with literally a barrage of letters.

“I’ll give my kidney to a needy body, with you paying ALL expenses and for moral compensation in the amount of 3 200 000 (three million two hundred thousand). Payment immediately before surgery. Transplant only in a good clinic. The deliberate and final act. I have a child and another on the way, credit and debt on the apartment, I don’t want my kids in something needed, but with a salary of 28 thousand, I just can’t afford this. About myself — 23 years, height 192, weight 95, smoked for two years…”

“Pushes people willing to sell their kidneys almost daily”

Scams surrounding this topic revolves too a huge amount. Way of cheating the most basic: “I am a reseller, send you to surgery abroad, because in Russia you for a kidney many do not get. For their service charge advance payment”. Or “will help with registration of the passport for travel abroad to search client for your kidney. Prepayment so much.” Sending their money, people have a vague idea of how it goes the selection of the donor and in General the whole procedure. They think: blood type matched, the ultrasound has passed. Moreover, most are not even aware that trade bodies in Russia is punishable with criminal prosecution. Therefore, all with whom they have corresponded on the Internet — swindlers.

Head of Department of kidney transplantation, Russian scientific center of surgery named. B. V. Petrovsky Russian Academy of medical Sciences Mikhail Mikhailovich CABAC confessed “MK” that almost every day from the door of the hospital have to fend off these would-be sellers.

— Unfortunately, calling such proposals regularly, and even come here. Almost every day the security guards kick such visitors. We patiently explain that this is forbidden, particularly persistent threatening the police, explain that the organ trade is illegal. Donors in our country can only be next of kin or the deceased (so-called cadaveric organs). There are times when people can’t prove the relationship with each other (cousin, second cousin, etc.), then we advise you to apply to the court at the place of residence. Only after the servants of Themis will establish the fact of kinship, we can return to the question of the donation.

— And who does not have a donor, what do they do?

— Wait in line for organs. Yes, all this does not move quickly, and largely due to the imperfection of the laws and services of organ donation. Welcome to the body for 2-3 years. A recent example — a boy was admitted to our one year old and received a kidney only at 3, that is, only after 2 years. However, I want to emphasize that a kidney transplant is a high — tech surgery performed at us in Russia to all those in need free of charge.

— How complex is the operation to remove and transplant a kidney? What can threaten the donor, the remaining kidney removed?

— You must conduct a number of thorough surveys. As for compatibility, and to the exclusion of any complications from the donor. Only if the doctors-specialists be sure that the donor after the removal of his body to live a full life and he will not be in the situation that he will need dialysis or kidney, it is possible to start the operation. We in the Department since 2002 keep accurate statistics of all cases with donor agencies. And the donor, and the recipient subsequently observed at our center.

“I’m 39 years old I sold one of my kidneys 2 years ago”

And as in other countries? In Germany, for example, a donor may become not only a relative but also a friend — in case, if you can convince the doctors that do this voluntarily and free of charge. About 30% of all transplants in this country comes from living donors. “Friends” often from Russia.

Officially the organ trade is permitted in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Iran and Iraq. There sale the kidney is 75% of all transactions involving the transplantation of organs. In these countries, many medical centers, acting as intermediaries between donors and recipients. There are entire “factory” donors, where the people live waiting for their “client”. The average amount received by the donor for a kidney — from 1000 to 2000 dollars.

And in China, a country where officially permitted the death penalty, the authorities may take even forcibly!

— Scared to even talk about it, but the trade in organs from living donors in China are put on stream, says an expert on China Ulyana Kim. And you can buy not only the kidneys but also heart, liver (in whole and not in part), lung, cornea, pancreas. Yes anything. Thousands of people go to China in transplant centers. A well-known fact that within months of being there you will receive any organ from a living person. This means that someone will plan death penalty. The authorities explained that all these organs are taken from criminals sentenced to death. But in China, as is well known, are subjected to a penalty of not more than 2 thousand people per year, while the number of transplants of organs tens of thousands. For example, the world organization to investigate the persecution of Falungong (banned in China school, recognized as extremist. — “MK”) announced that thousands of living followers of this doctrine went to the authorities during their detention in prisons, labour camps and centers.

And what do we have in Russia? Despite the fact that all the doctors deny any involvement in the black market organ trade, he still is. Muscovite Lyudmila Lazareva — the only one of the few who agreed to talk about how she sold her kidney.

— I’m 39 years old, I sold my kidney 2 years ago, begins his story a woman. — Remember, literally overnight, the dollar rose to 90 rubles. And I have a foreign currency mortgage and family. The payment for the apartment has soared to 200 000 rubles per month. I got behind just a couple of months, and the Bank immediately started calling: give money, or we go to court. So I decided to take this desperate step.

A hundred times already Ludmila regret the day you ever took a foreign currency mortgage.

— So I became the owner of the 26-meter “Khrushchev” in a remote district of Moscow. In those days my apartment was worth 180 thousand dollars. It’s been 11 years since I pay the mortgage and I still owe the Bank $ 140,000 (about 15 million at current exchange rate). Failure to pay me debt, this apartment will be sold a maximum of 3 000 000, the remaining 12 000 000 will remain after me.

About your credit Lyudmila can talk forever. The kidney — reluctantly.

— I found a buyer through a friend of the doctors is the only way. I originally wanted to get at least a million. But I physicians frankly laughed: speak too much. Allegedly willing to sell in bulk, so don’t like it, go home. In the end, I got my hands on about 150 000. That’s all.

Who went her body, Ludmila didn’t know.

— About 2 weeks looking for a recipient for my kidney. After surgery I was in a normal house with the usual sort of “painted” diagnosis. A week has already gone home. The condition I have is the same as it was. Only now the hair has stopped growing, and lost a lot of teeth. But it is unclear whether this is due to the lack of kidneys or nerves. Dollar and rests on high levels, the Bank has restructured my debt, now I pay $ 1000, but the loan lasted for a further 35 years. And I again formed delays in payments,…

Now to sell Lyudmila nothing. And she in addition to main job (a translator) tries to organize the sale of secondhand items. She gathered with friends in “full” years.

— There are a lot of branded items unworn. Many friends left for permanent residence abroad, they gave me all otdavali. Here only where to sell — I don’t know. Space for rent expensive. Maybe someone will give me a month literally any nook of the metro. 3 meters, not more. I bleed from the nose we must pay the Bank debt 200 000. How else to earn them — I don’t know. Help, good people.

Only on the condition that we will publish this request, Ludmila agreed to tell us about the sale of kidneys. “But I just have nowhere to go!”.


Many of the hapless sellers motivate his action: “I Live, but it is more to existence looks like, and so at least, maybe something will appear.” But a desperate attempt to make money on their own health turn into a problem either with the law or with health. The physiologists noted that remote with one kidney, people live for about 20 years.

Transplants of organs are actively talking again in recent weeks. This is due to the decision of the constitutional court in the case of Sablino Alina (19-year-old girl was hit by a car, and after 5 days she died in the hospital. After the autopsy the parents are horrified that Alina seized the heart, kidneys, aorta and other organs. The mother of the deceased went to court and eventually reached the constitutional. However, all her claims for the recovery of the hospital payment declared illegal, based on this very presumption of consent. — “MK”). Immediately began talking about the imperfection of the system, that organ transplantation is still with us is governed by the laws of the 90 years that the queue for organs almost not moving, all of this together and creates the black market.

Extensive discussion was caused by a new wave of interest in the Internet. Someone cashing in on desperate people, some leaves with two kidneys abroad, and will come with one. And letters from vendors of its own body all spilling and pouring me a mail…

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