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Lisa Ling Investigates the International Black Market for Body Parts

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 2, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Personal Story" segment tonight. Body parts for profit. A new National Geographic special explores the black market for body parts all over the world.

Joining us now from Pittsburgh, Lisa Lange, a correspondent on the investigation.

All right. Your show on Sunday at 10 p.m. on National Geographic. Now why should I care about body parts? Why?

LISA LANGE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Well, I think the reason you should care is that, God forbid, someone you love dearly — your wife, your daughter — is stricken with a fatal disease and is in need of an organ.

You know, what I really like about this documentary is we pose really interesting ethical questions about how far one would go in order to secure an organ for their loved one.

O'REILLY: Well, why can't they just get it the legitimate way? Why can't — look, say I need a heart, because I'm heartless, you know that. And Lisa, I've known you for many years.

LANGE: No, that's not true.

O'REILLY: You know I don't have a heart. And say I need one. All right. But I can't get one legitimately in America? I couldn't get a heart transplant?

LANGE: Well, if it's confirm that you need a heart, you'll be put on a list. And if someone with your matching blood types happens to pass on, and you are next on the list, then you might have a chance to get a heart. But so many thousands of people will die waiting for an organ.

O'REILLY: OK, so there's a lot of people who need certain body parts like livers and things like that, kidneys, to survive.

LANGE: In America, close to 100,000 people. That's a huge number.

O'REILLY: So they're waiting.

LANGE: ... that are waiting.

O'REILLY: All right. Now I — I'm close to going down, so I want to go into the black market, which is where you went. How do I do that?

LANGE: Well, if you're looking for a kidney, for example, or a liver, you have a couple of options. And the Internet has just opened this world in such a profound way. Some people are going to places like India or Pakistan to get kidneys.

O'REILLY: All right. Wait — wait, you're getting ahead of yourself. Do they advertise on the Internet? Do these body parts black market places advertise on the Internet?

LANGE: Well, I wouldn't say that they are as blatant as to advertise, but you can certainly find opportunities and ways through message boards or communicating with people.

O'REILLY: All right. So if you have a MySpace site or something and you say, "Look, I need a liver. Can someone help me?"

LANGE: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Chances are somebody will come up and say, "Doctor Ziya..."

LANGE: Right.

O'REILLY: "... in Calcutta may be able to help you"? Is that how it works?

LANGE: The Internet has made it infinitely easier for people. And you know, if you are willing to pay the price, there's a good chance you could find a way to get an organ, whether it's on the black market or through legal means.

O'REILLY: But you have to go to India and China and these places...

LANGE: That's right.

O'REILLY: ... to get the operation, which is unbelievably risky.

LANGE: It is — it is very risky, but as you'll see in this documentary, if you check it out, that people will go to extreme measures. And my husband's mother, my mother-in-law, at 72 years old got a heart transplant. She right now has a 30 year-old heart.

And certainly they — they wouldn't engage in anything illegal, but certainly, the thought crossed my mind: how far are we willing to go?

O'REILLY: How much does it cost, if I wanted to get a heart? How much would that cost?

LANGE: It depends. I mean, it could cost upwards of $100,000 to get a heart.

O'REILLY: So there's big money in this body part business, obviously?

LANGE: Huge money and...

O'REILLY: And they get the body parts from where?

LANGE: Well, huge money, first of all. I was actually shocked to find out that it's a $20 billion industry, and it's expected to double in two years.

And we profiled a man named Eric who actually flew to China to get a liver transplant. And in order to get a liver or a heart transplant, someone has to have recently died. And so it's alleged that — that prisoners are being executed and their organs were being extracted from China.

O'REILLY: So, prisoners in China were being murdered and they were harvesting their organs because they could make so much money doing it?

LANGE: We interviewed a doctor who said he saw it happen.

O'REILLY: All right. Lisa Lange, everyone. Sunday night, 10 p.m., National Geographic, the body parts industry.

Lisa, always a pleasure. Thank you.

LANGE: Thanks, Bill.

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