Dorrit's Reviews > The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers
The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers
by Scott Carney
by Scott Carney
I was disappointed in The Red Market. It's thesis, I think, is that we ought to bring absolute transparency to any transaction (whether altruistic or commercial) that involves human tissue. That seems like a worthy and appropriate argument but, unfortunately, it was rather muddled in this book. Although Scott Carney makes a point to repeat the call for transparency at regular intervals, there were also long stretches where he really appeared to be arguing for a crackdown on the black market in human tissues interspersed with observations that obtaining enough tissue to meet current demand would be nearly impossible if we truly relied exclusively on altruistic rather than commercial motives. While most chapters recount the gruesome, exploitative practices that supply the black market which are calculated to make you want to shut it down, some, such as the chapter on hair seemed entirely out of place. It's not remotely clear to me why there should be a problem with a temple in India selling hair willingly given by pilgrims, nor even why a client getting a weave at a salon in New York should care what specific individual offered the hair she's buying. The inclusion of the chapter, especially at the end of the book was a poor choice that weakened the already limited persuasive value of the book as a whole. If anything this book actually weakened my belief that there should not be a commercial market for human parts of any sort.
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