In recent years authors and publishers have produced hundreds of post-apocalyptic novels that terrify readers to the core. But luckily no nuclear blast, act of nature, or widespread disease/genetic mutation/zombie uprising have led the world into a wide-spread panic.
…not yet, that is.
But today, while browsing the Huffington Post, I came across a bone-chilling headline that made me realize that my worst fears (read: truth in post-apocalyptic films and literature) have come true.
According to a Huffington Post article, the international trade of bodily organs and tissue is growing, and the United States is one of the top buyers. There is some controversy in this, because some non-American medical professionals will sell their deceased patient’s organs to the US without telling the next of kin, as was the case a 19 year-old Ukrianian suicide victim whose parents “later learned that his body parts had been recycled and shipped off as ‘anatomical material.'” Similarly, a young woman noticed that her deceased father’s shoe wouldn’t stay on his foot…only to realize that his foot was no longer there. No family member approved the dismemberment and subsequent shipping of the foot (and other body parts) to a plastic surgeon elsewhere in Germany.
And then there is the illegal organ trade that the World Health Organization has called attention to on their website. Poor people are desperate for money and know that their organs can fetch them enough to live off of, so they go under the knife.
This is the stuff that horror movies and books are made out of. Jude Law in the 2010 movie Repo Men in which organs are repossessed when their new(er) owners fall behind on payments;Neal Shusterman’s novel Unwind where parents can “abort” their children after the age of 16 which sends the teens to organ farms for “unwinding” (death by dismemberment); the book-turned-movie Never Let Me Go about English orphans who are sent to Hailsham, a private school that prepares its pupils for a relaxing life that will be cut short by organ donation.
Awesome works of film and literature.
Terrifying once you realize that it is actually happening.
It’s scary and sad…to think that medical professionals and individuals feel the need to break laws, or undergo potentially life-threatening operation, to make money. It’s thievery. It’s immoral. It’s really happening.