It seems the economy is tough on everyone, as struggling, poverty-stricken Brits are looking to the social media platform Facebook to sell their kidneys.
The kidneys, which are about the size of an adult human fist, are regulatory organs. They balance electrolytes, sustaining an acid–base equilibrium, and maintain proper ratios of salt and water.
Kidneys are the body’s natural filter, screening the blood, and removing waste. Cellular metabolism generates numerous by-products that require elimination from the bloodstream. These by-products are eventually expelled from the body during urination.
Renal failure occurs when the kidneys are no longer capable of adequately filtering the blood. In extreme cases – where the organ has been impacted by physical trauma or disease – a kidney transplant is necessary. While they come in a set, people are capable of living with a single kidney. And for some in the black-market organ trade, a kidney can be worth a lot of money.
An inquiry by the Sunday Post, a UK-based news source, found Brits were more than willing to sell their organs, like kidneys, on Facebook. During the investigation, a reporter posed as the brother of a woman in need of a transplant and received 11 immediate offers.
According to a similar report in Ubergizmo, an undisclosed number of individuals have actually turned to Facebook as a medium of advertisement for their kidneys, requesting as much as £30,000. The same report detailed how a 22-year-old from Northampton offered up his kidney for £20,000, saying he needed the money in order to return to Hungary with his pregnant fiancee.
People are going to extreme lengths – offering up their kidneys in order to make a little extra money. But these desperate Facebook posters fail to take into consideration the various medical and legal ramifications involved – violating terms under the Human Tissue Act for one. It is illegal to buy or even advertise organs for sale in the United Kingdom.
[Photo Credit: Rainer Zenz]