NYC Man Pleads Guilty to Organ Trafficking

Kidney Diagram

A New York City man named Levy Izhak Rosenbaum has recently pled guilty to three counts of organ trafficking.  Additionally, Mr. Rosenbaum pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to broker an unlawful kidney sale.  This is the first recorded cased of an organ trafficker being found guilty in the United States.

According to reports, the demand for kidneys is far greater than those which are lawfully available for transplant.  It has been estimated that nearly one quarter of all kidney transplants around the world result from illegal organ harvesting.  Unlike other organs, a human kidney may be harvested from a live subject, which is why so many cash strapped individuals in poorer regions agree to sell their kidneys in exchange for cash.

Apparently the organs that Mr. Rosenbaum sold all originated from individuals residing in Israel.  How much money did the donors receive?  Donors received approximately $10,000, which is a small portion of the $120,000+ that Mr. Rosenbaum charged for his services.  The recipients of these illegal kidneys, which remain unnamed, are apparently wealthy Americans.

While cases involving the trafficking of organs are hideous, they do highlight the high demand for legally obtained organs in the United States.  It’s unfortunate, but many people needlessly die waiting for a suitable organ donor.  If you are interested in learning more about donating your organs, please visit OrganDonor.gov to learn how you can help save the life of someone waiting for a suitable organ.

Many may wonder why hospitals and organ transplant surgeons are not being held accountable for participating in illegal organ transplants in the United States.  Quite simply, the laws requiring verification of legally obtained organs are quite limited.  Furthermore, receiving an organ transplant from a friend or loved one is quite common and perfectly legal.  This provides the perfect loophole for medical care professionals and shields them from legal responsibility in such cases where a friend or loved one donates an organ.