Selling a kidney in order to afford a piece of tech seems a little extreme, but it just happened over in China.
Apple’s iPad 2 has quickly become the must-have gadget for a lot of tech junkies. However, this story might take the cake when it comes to how far a person is willing to go to get one: A teenager in China didn’t have enough money to actually buy an iPad 2, so he sold one of his kidneys to get the necessary cash.
The seventeen-year-old, known only by his surname “Zheng,” apparently wanted an iPad 2 so much that he had no problem with the idea of selling an organ. Actually, he didn’t come up with the idea on his own: He was surfing the Web and came across an ad that offered roughly $3,000 for a kidney.
Zheng realized that $3,000 was more than enough for an iPad 2, not to mention some other Apple gizmos. So, he responded to the ad, traveled to the hospital where the organ removal was being performed, and walked out a couple of days later with a much heavier wallet.
However, when Zheng returned home, his mother noticed his new gadgets and excess wealth. When she got her son to confess about what he’d done, she reported the crime, but it turns out that it was already too late: The private company that had been renting out the hospital rooms for the procedures had up and vanished. Authorities have had no luck tracking the responsible individuals down, mainly because all the communication with them had been done via pre-paid cell phones that have now all been deactivated.
Zheng’s facing some serious long-term health issues. It’s been reported that there were complications from the surgery (though what they are hasn’t been revealed).
It’s likely that the kidney was already sold for a substantial profit. As the Telegraph points out:
Trading organs online is a common practice in China, despite repeated attempts by China’s government to stamp out the practice. Last year Japanese television reported that a group of “transplant tourists” had paid £50,000 to receive new kidneys in China.
Also, this story has quickly become an outlet for judgement in China, particularly by members of the previous generation. Basically, folks are claiming that Zheng’s bad decision-making is “an extreme example of the rampant materialism of modern China.”
Personally, I just feel sorry for the kid. He’s down one kidney and possibly facing permanent health problems because he felt he needed a piece of technology that will likely be outdated in a year.