(Eng) Anarchist Age Weekly Review 21st January

neil birrell (neil@lds.co.uk)
Tue, 23 Jan 1996 04:59:53 +0100


The development and export of transplantation technology from
the West to the rest of the globe has spawned an international trade in
body parts. Kidneys, livers hearts lungs and comeas have become
commodities that are sold to the highest bidder. Transplantation
centres have been developed in Western Europe as well as North and
South America and in Asia. As transplantation technology is refined
more and more people are able to cheat death temporarily by having
diseased and non-functioning organs replaced.

In Australia organs are normally collected from trauma victims whose
relatives have given permission to remove the persons organs. These
organs are tissue matched and then sent to a transplantation unit that
has a recipient with a similar tissue match. About three thousand
people in Australia are on transplantation waiting lists waiting for a
suitable organ. At present organs are distributed on the basis of tissue
matching results. Normally a recipient is found in the city where the
organs have been removed, occasionally organs are sent interstate for

The situation in most of the world is determined by strictly
commercial relationships. Only a relatively small number of people in
Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, Russia and various
parts of Europe have access to transplantation technology. These
people have the necessary funds to buy the "best" that Western
medicine can provide. At any one time there are hundreds if not
thousands of people waiting for transplantation surgery at various
centres across the world. The only catch is that although they have the
necessary money and access to the technology most of these centres
have been starved of suitable healthy organs. Obviously a lack of
suitable organs can eat into these transplantation centres profitability.

Over the past decade an international network that sources and
provides the necessary body parts on demand has been developed
Body part are soursed from three main centres. Executed prisoners in
China, provide a large proportion of the body parts for the Asian and
North and South American body part market. Considering that China
executes over 20,000 people per- year (by a single gunshot to the
back of the head - you don't want to devalue your product by
damaging the valued organs do you?). Many are executed for minor
economic offences and some for political crimes.

The European and the Middle East market is supplied by a never
ending column of Indians and Pakistani urban ghetto dwellers. Agents
for hospitals based in Riyadah in Saudi Arabia scour the slums
looking for suitable "donors" who are willing to sell a kidney. These
poor ghetto dwellers are down to Riyadah have one kidney removed
and are placed on a flight back to India or Pakistan within 48 hours.
About 5% never make it back, they "die" on the operating table and
their bodies are gutted of all transplantable organs. If they have
families they are given a few thousand dollars for the medical murder
of their relatives.

The carnal houses of Riyadah and the killing fields of China are able
to provide a significant proportion of the adult organs that are sold to
transplantation centres across the globe. Unfortunately for the
transplantation trade they have great diff1culty in finding "legal"
avenues for the procurement of children's organs for transplantation.
Transplantation of children's organs have provided an increasing,
lucrative venture for many transplantation centres. This problem has
been overcome via the central and South American connection.
Children on the streets of Brazil, Mexico and other central and South
American countries have become the new "donors" in the world
transplantation trade. Street children are kidnapped off the street or
bought from orphanages, drugged, shipped to various donor centres
to have their hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers removed for
transplantation. These organs are tissue matched and then sold to
transplantation centres in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Many if not most transplantation centres have their suspicions about
the origins of these organs but they have decided to treat human
organs as just another commodity and ask no questions about the
origin of these organs.

The international organ trade exists and flourishes because everyone
at each step of this sordid little trade refuses to ask any questions
about the origin of the organs. The profits that are made in this
business are extraordinary. The establishment of voluntary organ
donation networks is the best way of limiting this trade. As the trade
now stands only those people with money have access to the
technology. Unless Australians are willing to fight to maintain the
current universal health care system the time will arrive (as it has now
arrived with elective surgery) when only those people with money
will be able to benefit from transplantation technology. A number of
private and public hospitals are already agitating that a fixed number
of hospital beds need to be set aside for the international transplant
market. Already these same arguments have seen places in our
universities, schools and training colleges being set aside for fee
paying overseas customers.

The same fate awaits Australia's universal health care system if we do
not oppose efforts to turn Australia's public and private hospital
system into an arm of the international body part trade.


Macquarie and Heard islands are two of the six tiny islands that act
as breeding grounds for seals, penguins and seabirds in the Antarctic.
Over the past few years disturbing evidence has been gathered by the
International Scientific community that seal, bird and penguin
populations are decreasing by between five to ten percent per year.
Increasing numbers of dead seals, penguins and sea birds litter the
shores of these islands.

Intensive scientific investigations have pinpointed starvation as the
main cause of the decline. The environment around these islands is a
very delicate balancing act and since 1912 the temperature on
Macquarie island has increased from 4.5 to 5.4 degrees. Although a
one degree rise in temperature may not seem much, the delicate
ecosystem that surrounds these rocky outcrops is being dramatically
altered by this small rise in temperature.

The changes on these rocky Antarctic outcrops are an indication that
the greenhouse effect is no longer in doubt. The mass starvation and
death that is occurring on these islands is a foretaste of what will
happen in the rest of the world, unless governments and people are
willing to learn the lessons of the greenhouse effect. Small changes in
temperature can have profound changes on the environment. Heard,
Macquarie and the rest of these rocky outcrops are an indicator that
large scale global changes will occur unless people are willing to
make profound changes in their lifestyle economic and political

A global economy that's based on continued expansion, consumption
for consumption sake and profit irrespective of the social and human
costs can only add to the impending disaster that faces the globe.
Greenhouse is inherently tied in with globalization and the
destruction of local production and local self-sufficiency efforts.
Cities need an never ending supply of food and water. Once this
stream is reduced or cut off mass starvation and social upheaval will
The plummeting of the bird, seal and penguin populations in the
Antarctic is an important indicator that the world's population will be
subjected to violent and cataclysmic changes unless we as a species
are willing to radically alter our current life and our economic and
political systems. An anarchist economic system that is based on the
satisfaction of human need, not continued growth and profit is one of
the few economic and social systems that may be able to halt the
spectre of greenhouse in the world community.


On Tuesday I nearly vomited on the television set when I saw
Bonaparte eating and I want to rule for ever Mahathir inspect an
honour guard in Kuala Lumpur. Poor old Keating was early late for
his right royal welcome when his air force jet developed a crack in its
windscreen. In a display of initiative that will earn Keating's minders a
place in history, they hired a private Lear Jet to take the great man to
the Malaysian capital.

As these two fine specimens paraded their wares before the Malaysian
and Australian media, I felt a rising nausea hat would have culminated
in a vomiting fit if I hadn't thrown a shoe through the television
screen. Over the next 48 hours Keating and Mahathir will go through
the motions of reconciliation. In a display that is tailored for local
consumption more than any real agenda, both men enjoyed feeding the
media throngs that have brought this useless extravaganza to Over
dinner these great leaders mulled over trade, the weather, defence ties
and slapped each other on the back as they heaped praise on each other
Not once did they raise the plight of the Gillespie children It's strange
that, that great born again nationalist Bonaparte Keating was too
frightened to raise the question of the long term welfare of the
Gillespie children Obviously leaders are not expected to trouble their
heads with such trifling matters as individual human rights if you're a
national leader you leave those questions to the law and bleeding
heart liberals don't you?