Boy in China reportedly sells kidney to purchase iPhone and iPad

April 6 — A teenage high-school student in China sold his kidney for an illicit transplant operation and used the proceeds to buy an Apple iPhone and iPad, state press said on Friday.

The 17-year-old boy, who was paid $3,500, was recruited from an online chat room and is now suffering from kidney failure and in deteriorating health, the Xinhua news agency said.

A surgeon and four others have been arrested and are facing charges of illegal organ trading and intentional injury.

The kidney donor, only identified by his surname Wang, agreed to the April 2011 operation in the central province of Hunan without his parents’ consent, the report said.

One of those detained was a hard-up gambler identified as He Wei, who acted as a middle-man between a hospital worker and the teenager.

Health ministry statistics show that about 1.5 million people in China need transplants, but only around 10,000 transplants are performed annually.

The huge gap has led to a thriving illegal market for organs.

9 Responses

  1. What’s worse this guy wanting this junk or our civilisation supporting a system that allows this unfair economic system to go on?

      1. @Dave Begotka,

        system – eat thy neighbor’s kidney in exchange for the toy
        (“well, if it was the FREEEEE exchange – all is fine – everybody got what they wanted. Kidney supply will increase so satisfy demand…”)

      2. @Gary,

        Not necessarily a “cut and dried” issue. Perhaps some form of court-supervised organ trading should be legal.

        This article completely glosses over the legal issues at stake:

        “The three procedures were done in 11 hours, with all six operations performed simultaneously, in order to reduce the amount of time that the organ is outside the body.”

        No, the procedures were done simultaneously because there was no other way to enforce the implicit contract that had been struck.

      3. @Gary,

        Very interesting ESM.

        Yes, it’s very clear that donor A is “Selling” their kidney in order to get donor B’s kidney for recipient B.
        Thus setting a clear precedent that it’s ok to sell your organs for other organs. The next step is to have donor A “selling” organ 1 in order to get donor B’s organ 2.

      4. @ESM,

        it is not really selling that is described in the article you linked. It is a swap or the invaluable things.
        Not the same as selling kid’s kidney.

        Some things just should not be sold – for any price, I think. Organs, lives, people, and I would argue – resources needed for survival (land, water).
        Once those lines are crossed – societies start to degenerate, people start confusing real with symbolic and money becomes something similar to a separate live-form. That is one of the reasons fiat money are so hard to comprehend, I think. If money can buy survival and freedom and dignity and organs – then it is natural not to want some “useless” government to “print” them. It then also becomes “immoral” for government to just “give” the money to some poor people.

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