The Appalling Failure of Medical Ethics in India

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    "Although several kidney rings have been exposed in India in recent years, the police said the scale of this one was unprecedented. Four doctors, five nurses, 20 paramedics, three private hospitals, 10 pathology clinics and five diagnostic centers were involved, said Mohinder Lal, the police officer in charge of the investigation."

    Kidney ring preyed on unwilling donors

    By Amelia Gentleman
    The New York Times

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    TOMAS MUNITA / NYT
    Shakeel Ahmed, foreground, and fellow laborers Naseem Mohammed, left, and Muhammad Salem recover in a Gurgaon, India, hospital after having a kidney removed against their will.



    GURGAON, India As the anesthetic wore off, Naseem Mohammed said, he felt an acute pain in the lower left side of his abdomen. Fighting drowsiness, he fumbled beneath the unfamiliar folds of a green medical gown and traced his fingers over a bandage attached with surgical tape. An armed guard by the door told him that his kidney had been removed.
    Mohammed was the last of about 500 Indians whose kidneys were removed by a team of doctors running an illegal transplant operation, supplying kidneys to rich Indians and foreigners, police officials said. A few hours after his operation on Jan. 24, the police raided the clinic and moved him to a government hospital.
    Many of the donors were day laborers, like Mohammed, picked up from the streets with the offer of work, driven to a well-equipped private clinic, and duped or forced at gunpoint to undergo operations. Others were bicycle rickshaw drivers and impoverished farmers who were persuaded to sell their organs, which is illegal in India.
    Although several kidney rings have been exposed in India in recent years, the police said the scale of this one was unprecedented. Four doctors, five nurses, 20 paramedics, three private hospitals, 10 pathology clinics and five diagnostic centers were involved, said Mohinder Lal, the police officer in charge of the investigation.

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