It's teacher hunting season!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daily News first in detailing extent of organ (kidneys) -brokering scandal, and first in covering juking stats of City hospital deaths

It has been almost a week since the incredible news flashed midday that 44 people had been arrested in New Jersey and that aside from the usual agents of governmental corruption, dealers in organ smuggling had been arrested.

The attention to the latter point is the result of the valiant work of anthropology professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes (University of California-Berkeley). She has been trailing this story at least since 2003, documenting a lucrative international trade in kidneys. Yet, U.S. authorities ignored her (while South African and Brazilian authorities made great use of her sleuth work). Furthermore, CBS News' Sixty Minutes did not want to follow through on her story. (Could it be that Dr. Scheper-Hughes' research tainted the reputations of doctors at some of New York City's more prestigious hospitals?) And the U.S. State Department "dismissed [Scheper-Hughes' reports of] organ trafficking as "urban legend."

Let's give a shout out to the New York Daily News, for this newspaper gave ample attention in its July 24 coverage of the corruption arrests to her research and her essential role in tipping off the facts to U.S. authorities.
Dr. Scheper-Hughes documented the physical coercion in securing the kidneys, paraphrasing the threats that the kingpin of this smuggling operation made, while displaying a pistol:
"You're here. A deal is a deal. Now, you'll give us a kidney or you'll never go home.' "

The details of her research will appear in her forthcoming book, ''A World Cut in Two, The Global Traffic in Humans for Organs.''
Click here for the MP3 audio file of WNYC's Brian Lehrer's interview, Friday, July 24 with Dr. Scheper-Hughes.
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As if organ-smuggling isn't eerie enough, The New York Daily News ran an expose Sunday, July 26, 2009, on scrubbed hospital records that concealed deaths at the hospital, "Hospital records were sometimes falsified to cover up medical mistakes." Click here to read Robert Gearty, Benjamin Lesser and Greg B. Smith's story and watch the Daily News' two videos.
Well, this is a parallel to the tendency of New York City schools to not report incidents of violence. Terrorize teachers against reporting student acts of violence, drastically slash the numbers of deans, and voila! A drastic reduction in student violence.

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