Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blood donor racket busted in India

From the Times of India:

NEW DELHI: Police have busted a racket in which a gang held 17 men captive and forced them to give blood several times a week, selling it for thousands of dollars.

The men - all poor migrant workers - were so weak when they were rescued that they could not stand up, and are now being treated in hospital, police said.
Good grief. I am never surprised and yet constantly amazed at the lengths humans will go to make money. There is something really disquieting about this one.

While dystopian visionaries have discussed horrible, exploitive (and speculative) practices like organ-legging, this far more practical and low-maintenance variety of awfulness seems to have slipped in unnoticed. (Unless I missed something.)

To run a kidney racket, you need a doctor. To run a blood donor racket, someone with nursing or EMT training would do.

The concept of using living human donors for tissue and fluids in an agricultural-style environment is one that could be realized in any foreseeable future. More humane variants could include housing project-style facilities with buildings for stem-cell, blood, skin, bone marrow etc. Each building would have its own med-lab and living areas for the career donors. Least desirable scenarios would fall into the "Matrix-human-battery" category. Where you put the "headless-cloned-organ-donor-in-a-vat" scenario is a matter of personal taste, I suppose.

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