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How Much is Your Dead Body Worth?

About the Show

The troublesome trade in human tissue — Dead bodies have always been used in medicine. But now demand for human tissue is outstripping supply.

A gruesome new trade, body broking, aims to meet these demands. But is it legal, ethical or even safe?

300 years ago the only way for doctors to work out what made people tick was to get a body and delve around inside. It was a time of great discovery, but it also marked the beginning of the illicit trade in bodies. However, is this really a thing of the past? Companies trading in body parts today can make up to $5,000 for a whole body. They usually source their bodies by placing advertising in care homes and hospitals. But with demand high, some unscrupulous traders have used the bodies of those who haven't given their permission, with devastating consequences. CNBC investigates in How Much is Your Dead Body Worth?

Web Extras

  • Tissue Broker     Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010 | 12:05 AM ET

    Annie Cheney, author of â??Body Brokers,â? discusses the tissue brokering business in â??How Much is Your Dead Body Worth?â?

  • Body Parts are Profitable     Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010 | 12:04 AM ET

    Todd Olson from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Baron Cohen from One Legacy discuss the profitability of body parts in the â??How Much is Your Dead Body Worth?â? documentary.

  • What's Your Dead Body Worth? Monday, 22 Mar 2010 | 10:04 AM ET
    Dead bodies have always been used in medicine. But demand for human tissue is outstripping supply, resulting in the gruesome new trade of body broking, in which unscrupulous traders have used the bodies of those who haven't given their permission, with devastating consequences.In this slideshow, however, we take a look at what companies legitimately trading in body parts — those who source from willing donors and sell to legitimate medical facilities — are making on specific body parts.Want to f

    Take a look at what companies legitimately trading in body parts — those who source from willing donors and sell to legitimate medical facilities — are making on specific body parts.

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