Legal kidney market: how some Iranians are making ends meet

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

‘Kidney for sale’ can be found scrawled on the walls of hospitals across Iran. In the only country where the organ trade is legal, the streets near hospitals have been turned into a 'kidney eBay'. Tragically, poverty is the main motive for many of the Iranians who are selling their kidneys for transplant.

With long waits on the official waiting list, many desperate patients seek kidneys from private individuals.  The high demand means prices soar on the unofficial market.  And the high price tag has prompted many poor and unemployed people in Iran to offer up a kidney to help them cover their living expenses. For those donors whose health is not strong, yet who are driven by dire financial need, this can be a very dangerous decision.

The World Health Organisation believes kidney sales should be banned. “Transplant commercialism targets impoverished and otherwise vulnerable donors,” says their Istanbul Declaration. “It leads inexorably to inequity and injustice and should be prohibited.” The Word of God is clear that we should pray for those who are poor and vulnerable: would you join us in praying for justice to prevail in this complex situation?

Pray for

  • An increase in pro-bono organ donations
  • Improved employment rate and economy
  • Wisdom and skill for surgeons as they perform transplants