Black Market organ prices might surprise you. That’s because some body parts are worth an astounding amount of money, while others fetch a much lower price than you’d probably guess. If you’ve read the true stories of people whose organs were stolen, you know that organs aren’t the only human parts that are in demand. Everything from hair to skin has a price and is available without waiting on a donor list – as long as you’re willing to break the law and take the risk of imprisonment, that is.
Due to the difficulty of making it to the top of the applicable organ transplant list in time, it is estimated that 10% of all organs and tissue used in surgeries come from the Black Market. This happens despite the fact that Iran is the only nation on earth where it is actually legal to buy, sell, and trade organs. Sadly, many people feel like they have no choice other than to turn to the Black Market because 50% of waitlist patients do not receive the necessary organ transplant in time. However, demand for organs on the Black Market has also led to illegal businesses like organ harvesting in children in Mexico. So, what are your organs worth on the Black Market? Read on to find out!
(all values are in USD$)
Kidneys – $200,000
Kidneys are by far the most popular organ on the Black Market. In fact, a staggering 75% of the Black Market organ trade involves the sale of kidneys. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they’re also one of the most expensive things to illegally purchase. At approximately $200,000, most people who need a kidney transplant due to medical issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes won’t be able to afford it.
Sadly, less than a third of US patients on the kidney waitlist will get a legal opportunity to save their lives. Something worth noting is that the cost of these organs is much lower in China and India, where they range from $15,000 to $62,000.
Liver – $157,000
Liver disease claims more than 31,000 American lives annually. Waiting for a transplant often takes too long, and the cost of this surgery is also very prohibitive for many patients. Turning to the Black Market makes it cheaper and easier to find a replacement liver. If you were to sell your liver today, it would bring in more than $157,000. If your liver is healthy, you can live without part of it. Finding a Black Market buyer who will pay a compelling fee for a partial liver may be difficult, though.
Heart – $119,000
If you’re like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz and you need a new heart to stay alive, you may be very tempted to turn to the Black Market. Legal heart donations require $997,700 dollars, which is a major chunk of the estimated $1.2 millionfee associated with heart transplant surgery. Most people don’t have $1.2 million available to save their life, and the Black Market makes the process much more affordable. Each illegally obtained heart is worth $119,000, which makes the price of a legal heart seem like the true crime.
Corneas – $24,400
Cornea damage can lead to blindness, so it’s no wonder that this body part is valuable. After all, people can permanently damage their eyesight from a long list of seemingly innocuous things, including glancing at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection. As always, the Black Market has stepped up to fill this need. Corneas are worth $24,400 via the Black Market, which includes implanting them. In other words, if someone sells your corneas after you die, they’re not going to get quite that much money.
Bone Marrow – $23,000 Per Gram
Donating a gram of bone marrow is the quickest way to illegally obtain $23,000 from the Black Market. If the process is properly done, you’ll experience little to no pain, but there may be some side effects after the fact. Unfortunately, it is only legal to donate blood marrow, not sell, even though it is one of the most valuable parts of the human body.
To put the Black Market cost of bone marrow into perspective, a gram of cocaine is only $150, and the street value of heroin is $200 per gram. This means that people can make a much better illegal living than a drug dealer by selling their bone marrow.
Eggs – $12,400
US law makes it legal to sell and buy human eggs, but the associated expenses may put this out of reach for some people. Unsurprisingly, the Black Market steps in to reduce the costs by eliminating hospital fees. It’s possible to sell enough eggs for an IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle for $12,400. Meanwhile, legal donors are often only compensated $8,000 for the same process, and this money counts as taxable income. No wonder some people choose to sell on the Black Market instead.
Bones And Ligaments – Up To A Few Thousand Dollars
It seems hard to believe, but even unbroken human bones are for sale on the Black Market. Ligaments are another item that is in demand. Bones and ligaments go for approximately the same price, although this varies depending on which exact part you have to offer. The highest value bones and ligaments go for a few thousand dollars.
Coronary Artery – $1,525
Heart disease is one of the most common ailments a person can develop. There are numerous surgeries utilized to help this issue, ranging from a coronary bypass to a heart transplant. Although coronary artery transplants don’t happen, there’s still some demand for this particular body part. In fact, selling this artery can bring in an average of $1,525.
Small Intestine – $2,519
Small bowel transplants are a rare and complicated surgery, but it’s the best option for survival in some cases. This procedure is typically offered to people who have had a lot of their small intestine removed or who are suffering from intestinal failure. As with practically every other human organ or body part, it’s possible to sell and buy a small intestine on the Black Market. The estimated street value is $2,519. For comparison, getting a new intestine through legal means will cost up to $1.5 million, though this also covers the expensive cost of the transplant surgery as well.
Skulls With Teeth – $1,200
In many cases, items procured via the Black Market are not used for human transplantation. Instead, body parts such as the spleen, gallbladder, and shoulder are more likely to end up in the hands of a medical researcher or someone who collects oddities. A human skull that still contains all of its teeth serves as another prime example. Currently, people who possess one of these desirable objects can sell it on the Black Market for $1,200.
Spleen – $508
Spleen transplants have been successfully performed on rodents, but there’s a long way to go before this will become a common human surgery. Interestingly, at least one person has received a kidney transplant to act in place of their spleen. People can live without their spleen, but this isn’t a desirable outcome because this organ performs numerous functions, such as assisting the immune system by filtering blood.
By the time human spleen transplants become a reality, the Black Market is likely to have several available. Right now, a Black Market dealer will buy a spleen for $508. This price will almost certainly go up when surgeons eventually begin offering spleen transplants.
Scalp – $600
In 2015, Houston surgeons performed the first scalp transplant in the world. This could eventually lead to scalp transplants solving a long list of problems, including male pattern baldness. The Black Market has already began stocking up on scalps for those who may need them. Currently, a scalp is worth just over $600, making it one of the most affordable body parts available via the illegal Black Market trade.
Gallbladder – $1,200
Gallbladder surgery is a prime option for the 10% of Americans who suffer from gallstones. However, it’s very unusual to have the gallbladder replaced after it’s removed. In fact, this typically only happens during a liver transplant when the new gallbladder comes attached to the donated liver. Despite this, it’s still possible to sell a healthy gallbladder on the Black Market for more than $1,200.
Stomach – $500
Believe it or not, you don’t need a full stomach in order to digest food. In some cases, though, the digestive system becomes so damaged that a new stomach becomes a critical need. In one of these extremely rare instances, a Georgia woman had a multivisceral transplant that included a stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, and replacements for her small and large intestines. The Black Market recognizes that there is the occasional need for a stomach, but the rarity of this transplant keeps the value low at just over $500.
Shoulder – $500
Patients who undergo shoulder replacement surgery receive a metal ball to replace their damaged humeral head. What if it was possible to get a real, human humeral head from another person? It remains to be seen whether or not surgeons would see this as a viable replacement option. If that day ever comes, though, the Black Market has some shoulders to sell. The current value of a human shoulder is $500.
Blood – $337 Per Pint
Even though most people are eligible to donate blood, there’s still typically a big shortage of this necessary life-giving component of the human body. Therefore, illegal blood farming has become a surprisingly common practice. In India, some people become trapped in so-called blood farms where they’re kept in cages and forced to donate blood. Another source of the illegal blood industry is the prison system, where prisoners can have their blood forcibly taken. The average value of this blood on the Black Market is $337 per pint.
Hair – $70 Per Every 10 Inches
Most people who cut off their hair with the intention of giving it to others donate it to cancer patients. However, there is an interest in hair on the Black Market, too. This is mostly due to gathering hair to sell for wigs, and selling it can net you $70 for every 10 inches.
Skin – $10 Per Square Inch
In any given year, one million Americans suffer from a skin burn. Of these, approximately half are severe enough to require hospitalization. At that point, a skin graft may be necessary. In 10,000 annual cases, burn patients will die because of a burn-related infection. Harvesting skin from deceased organ donors is a great way to help these people, but there’s not always enough of it to go around. The Black Market picks up some of the slack and values skin at $10 per square inch.