Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Black Markets
The Supply and Demand of Body Parts

$24.99 (P)

  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107642751

$ 24.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In direct response to indefinite delays on the national transplantation waitlists and an inadequate supply of organs, a growing number of terminally ill Americans are turning to international underground markets and brokers for organs. Offering a contemporary view of organ and tissue supply and demand, Michele Goodwin explores the legal, racial and social nuances of current altruistic institutionalized procurement schemes. It is understandably not publicized that Chinese inmates sitting on death row and the economically disadvantaged in India and Brazil are the most often compromised co-participants in the negotiation process and supply kidney and other organs for Americans as well as other Westerners willing to shop and pay in the shadow of the law. Goodwin suggests that the best alternative model for organ procurement is a market approach or one based on presumed consent and provides an alternative way of studying how to increase the supply of organs and other body parts as well.

    • Illuminates the significant procurement problems in the current altruistic regime, which result in pernicious forms of rationing, delays and deaths
    • Exposes the racial disparities in the current altruistic regime
    • Provides a better understanding of how the current procurement process creates demands which spread into unattractive subsystems
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    “"Goodwin is the leading scholar and one of a relative few critically analyzing race and medicine today. Goodwin points out a global crisis that deserves very close attention from lawyers, doctors, judges, the community, and religious thinkers. Black Markets is a provocative and highly intelligent book. It brings to light issues that have been kept in the dark for far too long. This book is an outstanding accomplishment for its depth, nuance, and ability to reach so many audiences because of the legacy of 240 years of legal slavery, one hundred years of Jim Crow where access to health care was illegal for blacks. The legacy of high infant mortality rates and shorter life expectancy haunts blacks even today. This book delves into matters too long ignored. Blacks work harder and make less, pay more for less, live under stress and don't live as long. Professor Goodwin is to be hailed for the quality of her scholarship and academic excellence in Black Markets. Black Markets should be on the shelves of all people who care about the future of biotechnology."“
    Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr, Founder and President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

    "A remarkable, fresh analysis of a difficult and terrible public health issue. I could not put the book down."”
    Donna E. Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

    “"From the pillaging a century ago of Black graves to the recent sale of Alistair Cooke's bones to a tissue bank by rogue New York morticians a black market in body parts has been an unspoken but flourishing way of securing human organs and tissue. Michele Goodwin's exploration of the legal, ethical and commercial aspects of this “industry” is a macabre and fascinating study of how our present system of “altruistic donation” has failed to meet the need for such materials. Her proposal for a controlled market restricted to cadaveric organs is a change in public policy designed to meet demand without seducing the poor into selling their body parts.”"
    -John J. Paris, S. J. Walsh Professor of Bioethics, Boston College

    “"Black Markets powerfully exposes the fraud, bias, and commercialism that plague our supposedly altruistic system of organ donation. Goodwin places the needs and views of African Americans - those hurt most by the current system -– squarely at the center of her project. Her daring proposal will cause readers to rethink not only organ donation but the nature of altruism itself.”"
    Dorothy Roberts, Kirkland and Ellis, Professor of Law, Northwestern University Law School and author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

    “"For many years I and many others in the law and economics movement have urged in vain that a blind faith in altruism leads to a senseless loss in human lives that only a legalized market in organ transplants can overcome. Our chosen tools of analysis have been supply and demand curves. It is therefore heartening to see how Michele Goodwin's all too human take on this burning issue reaches the same conclusion. When the classical economist and the modern race theorist both reach the same conclusion, maybe, just maybe, the bureaucrats who run our sclerotic system of organ transplants will take heed— before more lives are ruined or lost.”"
    Richard A. Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago

    “"While everyone may dream of being a hero, when it comes to giving away organs, the reality is starkly different. Despite multi-million dollar publicity campaigns, not enough individuals make the “Gift of Life.” The gap between organ supply and demand continues to grow exponentially. These numbers don't lie, and Michele Goodwin is not afraid of the truth. In her provocative book, she reveals how exclusive reliance on altruistic donations has failed, disproportionately affecting African American patients. As she sheds light onto the current organ procurement system and examines alternatives – from compelled donations to presumed consent and the black market– she finds more exploitation and racial bias. Her solution is bold. The business of savings lives can thrive if we let tissues and cadaveric organs enter the market place and regulate their sales. It takes courage to read this book. As a reward, readers will better understand the historical roots of the problem, and the challenge it presents to the legal system and to our moral assumptions.”"
    Karine Morin, LLM, Director, Ethics Policy, Ethics Group, American Medical Association

    "With her extensive research and graceful prose, Michele Goodwin takes us behind the scenes of the organ transplant industry. Black Markets is a pioneering work that weaves together compelling interviews with patients, gripping health care statistics, fascinating legal cases, and sound policy proposals that could transform health care for everyone."
    Lori Andrews, JD, Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law and author of Sequence

    “"In Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts, Michele Goodwin provides an interesting and provocative look at the brave new world of human organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Professor Goodwin explores the many legal and ethical dilemmas that surround this subject, and her wide-ranging research places these issues in their historical, legal, and cultural contexts. Her book provides a thorough and insightful critique of our present-day altruistic system of donation, and she proposes, and ably defends, an alternative system that would combine elements of altruism and compensation. Black Markets is an important contribution to the field and is certain to help shape the debate on these questions in years to come.”"
    Benjamin K. Miller, Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Illinois

    "This book says important things to lawyers, doctors, and others interested in healthcare law and bioethics. Recommended for academic libraries."
    Library Journal

    "This exceptional book is a rational and well-referenced treatise."
    James F. Trotter, MD, The New England Journal of Medicine

    "Goodwin thorough analysis and proposal offer a great contribution to a pressing public health issue that can no longer be ignored."
    New York University Journal of International Law and Politics

    "Black Markets is impeccably researched and persuasively argued … Goodwin's book provides provocative and insightful material with which to continue the conversation about transplant policy."
    Barbara A. Noah, The Law and Politics Book Review

    "Black Markets is a fascinating look at an issue fraught with social, ethical, and legal challenges. Michele Goodwin is an academic, and her work reads as such, with a plethora of sources and statistics to back up her assertions … Black Markets is a useful addition to any academic law library’s collection on health care law."
    Stephanie Karnosh, Reference Librarian, McMillan LLP

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107642751
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I:
    2. Institutional supply and demand
    3. Nuances, judicial authority, and legal limits of altruism
    4. Equal opportunity rationing: racial and economic disparities
    Part II. Legal Frameworks and Alternatives:
    5. The legal process of procurement and allocation: regulatory frame
    6. Presumed consent
    7. Commodification
    Part III:
    8. Tissue sales: an African American predicament?: critiquing the slavery and black body market comparison
    9. The private and public financial transaction in tissue transplantation
    10. African Americans and organ sales
    11. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Michele Goodwin, University of Minnesota
    Michele Goodwin is the Everett Fraser Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota. She holds joint appointments at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Prior to teaching law, Goodwin was a Gilder-Lehrman postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, Connecticut. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Law and Social Inquiry and the Harvard/Stanford/Duke Journal of Law and the Biosciences. She is the author or editor of four books and more than sixty articles and book chapters. Her editorials and commentaries have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Forbes, Gene Watch, Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, and the Washington Post. She is a columnist for “The Conversation” at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

related journals

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.