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The dark side of body part trading operates in a dynamic fashion, full of mystery, intrigue, and ambition. On the one hand, black and gray markets are illegal, but also pioneering and inventive; and although this type of criminal activity requires a level of dexterity and innovation, the point should not be lost that these markets thrive and flourish, sometimes in view of law. On the other hand, altruistic body part procurement is mired by low participation, which encourages black market transactions. Thousands of sick patients die each year without the hope of receiving an organ or bone marrow donation through the altruistic procurement system, so they turn to the dark side.
This book offers a frank conversation about altruism in the global body market. It exposes how researchers exploit their patients' ignorance to harvest tissue samples, blood, and other biologics without consent for research and patent development. The book chronicles exploitation in the name of altruism, including the nonconsensual use of children in dangerous clinical trials, and analyzes social and legal commitments to the value of altruism - offering an important critique of the vulnerability of altruism to corruption, coercion, pressure, and other negative externalities.