Human Organs For Sale — a Talking Points lesson plan for reading & speaking

It is possible to buy human organs.

Some people sell their organs.

This is a topic for reading and speaking that you can use in your General English class or IELTS class. It is the kind of topic that is bound to raise a lot of questions which can then result in much discussion and debate.

You can download the full lesson plan by clicking the link below.





What are your human organs?

If someone needs a new organ, what can they do?

Who donates these organs?

Would you exchange one of your organs for an iPhone? Why/why not?




For a long time, there has been a profitable trade in human organs. Some people kindly leave their organs to charity as part of their final wishes before they die. Their liver, eyes or other body parts may then be used for the advancement of science — or be donated to someone truly in need, to improve the quality of their life.

But now some other people are seeing the large profits made from the sale of human organs and setting up agencies so they can trade in these body parts.

The internet helps these unscrupulous agents in finding donors to give up their organs. Usually, the people that surrender their body parts are in very unfortunate circumstances. They may be very poor. Or in need of some fast cash themselves to send their child to hospital for a life- saving operation.

It seems more than a little ironic that a man might give away one of his own organs to save the body and health of his own child.

But now there are even stranger situations in the sale of human organs. Some of these agents are offering sets of much sought-after goods in exchange for human organs.

One advertisement ran that offered a set of iPhone, iPad and iWatch to anyone that could give up one of their kidneys.

The agent was inundated with calls — usually from young people who figured that they have two kidneys, so losing one won’t be much of a problem.

All in exchange for three gadgets that will be out of date in a year or two.

Of course, these organ donors are usually from poor parts of the world and see these items as luxury goods. They can show them off and make their friends and neighbours regard them with a certain amount of envy for a while.

But at what cost?

There seems to be no control over this. The donors are usually of an age where they can give full consent to hand over a vital human organ and so there is little the authorities can do about it.

But the agents are cashing in big time. All they have to do is bulk-buy some smartphones and other tech items and they get kidneys they can sell to the right buyer for very large sums of money.

It is a corrupt way of making money. From the naivety and greed of a young person, keen to be seen in a good light for a few months, but a whole lifetime of regret.


Essential Vocabulary


profitable trade human organs leave to charity
final wishes liver advancement
donated truly in need quality of life
unscrupulous donors surrender
unfortunate circumstances fast cash ironic
sought-after kidneys inundated
gadgets out of date luxury goods
show them off envy full consent
vital human organ authorities cashing in
big time bulk-buy tech items
corrupt naivety good light
whole lifetime regret



Write down all the words and phrases in your vocabulary notebook. Look in your dictionary and find the meaning of each word. Write the definition next to each word.

Then make up your own sentences using each word or phrase.

For example:

Notebooka small book with pages of blank paper that students use to make notes when studying.

“I left my notebook at home so I was unable to make any notes in my English class.”




  1. What is an organ donor? Do you have these in your country?
  1. How many human organs can you name? What do they do?
  1. What do you think of the organ agents in the article? Should they be punished? Why/why not?
  1. What do you think of the young people giving up a kidney for an iPhone? Tell the class.
  1. Would you do this? Why/why not? Think of three reasons why/why not.
  1. Who buys these organs? What are their reasons for needing these organs?
  1. Are people too greedy today for new gadgets? Have they become too big a status symbol?
  1. For a young person who sells one of his kidneys, what problems could he have later in life? Do you think he will feel regretful?
  1. If someone offered you a million dollars for one of your kidneys would you take it? How about ten million?
  2. Would you offer one of your kidneys to a friend or family member if their life depended upon it?



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2 thoughts on “Human Organs For Sale — a Talking Points lesson plan for reading & speaking”

  1. Donating or leaving your organs to science after you die seems like a charitable thing to do but harvesting them for profit or trade is different, especially when the middleman makes the most profit. After all the information that has come out in 2020 about human trafficking I’m adamantly opposed to organ trafficking of any kind except in the case where one would donate an organ to a loved on in need.

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