Waiting Lists Are Overrated

The following documentaries cover the whole span from legal donation to illegal organ selling and organ harvesting all over the world. Below you can find the documentaries and a short summary of each one.

Dying to Live

We think the most important point made in the documentary is that being on the waiting list to receive an organ is emotionally and physically straining. Factually, there are enough natural deaths to supply organ needs, however, there is a lack of donors.

Due to the length of such lists, patients have to be on the brink to death to receive operation. This is unfavourable because a bad health during operation prolongs recovery and decreases success rates.


Schwarzmarkt im Visier: Organhandel

The documentary illuminates the stories of different parties that are involved in the illegal organ trade: recipients, „donors“, doctors that undertake the transplantations illegally, intermediaries, criminal networks, and the pharmaceutical industry. Desperation drives recipients as well as “donors” to participate in the illegal organ trade business. The documentary looks at the illegal organ trade from different perspective, which gives the viewer a good overview over the topic.


Genocide Crime: Organ Harvesting in China

In the past decade, the number of organ transplantations has been increasing in China and hospitals advertise with short waiting time from 2-3 weeks to only several days. How are these short waiting times possible although the official numbers of voluntary organ donors remains rather low? Where do these many organs coming from? The award winning documentary “Genocide Crime: Bloody Organ Harvesting in China” investigates these questions and  reveals shocking insights about how the Chinese regime harvests organs from executed prisoners and from political detainees such as the Falun Gong practitioners which are horted in several concentration camps throughout the nation.


All of these movies treat the question of moral boundaries in several dimensions from legal and voluntary organ donations to cruel and brutal organ harvesting. People’s perceptions of what is right and wrong seems to differ across cultural contexts and political practices. While some people stick to the official waiting lists, others prefer to drift towards illegal markets which offer much faster solutions. All in all, everyone seems to prefer to see him or herself as a victim of the system or his/her circumstances instead of taking on responsibility.


Written by Nicole Surber, Alexandra Mäder, Fabienne Voser, Corina Eugster and Naomi Bechtold



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