The 12th International Consumer Law Conference Blog

Organised by NALSAR and the International Association for Consumer Law

25th February, 2009: Architecture of Consumer Protection in a Global Economy

Neera Bhatia, University of Birmingham (UK), Supply and Demand: Survival of the Richest


Technological and medical developments of the twentieth and twenty- first centuries have seen great advances in the treatment and cure of serious illnesses. One such area is that of organ transplants, with transplants increasing dramatically. In this paper the main object which has been dealt with is the kidney transplant.  The problems faced during the transplant and the after affects of the transplant. The problem of black market arises when there is a lack of the organs and people in need of the organs tend to fall for the black market of these organs. To get the organs to sell in the black market these people tend to murder and exploit these people. This is a universal problem for both developed as well as a developing country. Internet is a very beneficial part in helping the transaction of selling the organs. People generally tend to sell the organs due to poverty, dowry threat or clearing debts.


The number of people on the waiting list for transplants however is growing, resulting in a clear shortage of organs and many patients dying while on the waiting list. This gap in the market has allowed for the creation of booming black market in living donor organ supply.


A case in US where a person advertised to sell a kidney on ebay for which there was ample amount of bidding for the same. This gives the owner of ebay a great idea of selling kidneys on line. In UK a young individual who was over burdened by the student debt offered to sell his kidney for 75,000 pounds and landed up paying 100 thousand pounds and three years imprisonment as the sell of organs in such a fashion is illegal.


In developing countries selling of organs is coercion and threat or an incentive to earn in quick fix. Selling of kidneys is not a legal procedure. There are operations which take place in the black market and these patients are left within two days without any proper instructions given to them for their bodily health. Though a person can lead a healthy life even with one kidney but still the amount of risk and harm caused is significant.


With a basic supply and demand problem, already organs are available to those who can afford them. Clearly   many ethical issues are raised in the donor transplant and trade debate, however these are further exacerbated when cross bordered and cross socio economic donations are involved. The organs trade is particularly strong in under developed countries such as Indonesia, China and India raising concerns regarding the exploitation and commodification of the impoverished.


This paper examines the current socio- economic characteristics of the organ trade, and asserts that a market model must be applied to protect the legal and human rights of both consumers (patients) and sellers (donors). Further, this paper will argue that such a model and associated regulations are necessary for the protection of the value of human life, whether rich or poor.


                                  – Ayushi Mittal, IInd Year, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad

                                  – Ankita Gupta, IInd Yeae, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.


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