Chinese teen sold kidney to buy iPhone and iPad but now suffers from kidney failure
A 17-year-old boy from China, who sold his kidney to buy Apple products, is now suffering kidney failure.
Recruited in an online chat room and paid 22,000 yuan ($3,500), the NY Post reports the news on the boy, referred to only as Wang in a Xinhua media account of events. His deteriorating health after the illegal transaction and transplant operation in April 2011 leaves him suffering in Anhui, in the central province of Hunan.
Anhui, being one of China’s poorest provinces, is a place where inhabitants frequently leave to find work and a better lives elsewhere, according to the account in Reuters. Once the 17 year old bought an iPhone and iPad, he was asked by his mother where he got the money for those purchases. The boy admitted selling a kidney.
According to the Xinhua account, one of five defendants in this case received about 220,000 yuan (about $35,000) to arrange the transplant of the teen’s kidney. He paid Wang only 22,000 yuan and then prosecutors claim he split the rest with the surgeon performing the operation and the three other defendants and medical staff.
From a Wired.com article online, it seems that scarcity of human organs has been driving a global kidney market. Unfortunately for regions in the world such as India, Brazil, Pakistan and China, sellers in 2005 were seeing signs of a surplus for organs.
Apparently the price of a kidney transplant at one of the best hospitals in the Philippines, where organ sales are legal, was $6,316, according to a report cited in Wired’s story by the Philippine Information Agency. That is nothing compared to prices as high as $85,000, which professional organ hunters charged just to match Western patients with donors from the slums of Manila.