Five people have been charged for illegal organ trading in China after a teenager wanting an iPhone and iPad sold his kidney last year. The young man is now in failing health and suffering from kidney failure.
According to reports the young man with the surname Wang is down to one kidney. The 17-year-old high schooler was paid $3,500 for his organ. The young man's mother discovered the crime when she asked her son how he could afford his new technology. The victim and his family reside in Anhui, one of China's poorest areas.
The $3,500 was paid to the teen by one of the defendants who had been paid $35,000 for the kidney. He and the other four charged split the rest of the money including the surgeon who removed the kidney. Charged in the crime are a surgeon, a hospital contractor, and brokers who looked for donors online and leased an operating room to conduct the procedure reports CTV News.
The person who paid for and received the kidney is not known.
Young Wang was recruited during an online chat.
There are about 1.5 million people in China needing an organ transplant. Each year the nation performs about 10,000 transplants. Most of the organs come from executed prisoners because of a lack of voluntary donations. China has been a target of International human rights groups because of their practice of harvesting dead prisoner organs without their or their family's consent.
Apple products are generally priced out of reach for the average Chinese citizen but are very popular.
Last month the Southern Daily newspaper published a special report on the practice of selling a kidney to earn money. The practice of human organ trading was banned in China in 2007. The illegal trade still continues with donors risking their lives to pay off debts, buy smartphones or pay for an abortion.
In an editorial about the Southern Daily report appeared last month in the Guangming Daily, the official newspaper stating reports Newsday:
"Without facing complete hardship, these young people born after the 1990s made rash decisions. In the choice between their bodies and materialism, they resolutely chose the latter. In today's society where desires are infinite and demands are boundless ... blindly competing with others in the pursuit of high-end 'technology' will gradually ruin lives."