Black Market for Body Parts Spreads Among the Poor in Europe

This will only get worse as Europe collapses and people start to starve.

BELGRADE, Serbia — Pavle Mircov and his partner, Daniella, nervously scan their e-mail in-box every 15 minutes, desperate for economic salvation: a buyer willing to pay nearly $40,000 for one of their kidneys.

Ervin Balo, a father of two with his wife, Elivira, tried to sell a kidney to support his family in Kikinda, Serbia, while unemployed. More Photos »

The couple, the parents of two teenagers, put their organs up for sale on a local online classified site six months ago after Mr. Mircov, 50, lost his job at a meat factory here. He has not been able to find any work, he said, so he has grown desperate. When his father recently died, Mr. Mircov could not afford a tombstone. The telephone service has been cut off. One meal a day of bread and salami is the family’s only extravagance.

“When you need to put food on the table, selling a kidney doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice,” Mr. Mircov said.

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