April 7, 2012
How far would you go to own your iDevices? As we reported last June, one poverty-stricken teen in Anhui, China was so desperate to own an iPhone and iPad that he sold his kidney on the organ black market. This week, five individuals, including the surgeon, were charged with intentional injury for their participation in the illegal surgery. Other suspects involved in the case are still being investigated. Tragically, the 17-year-old victim, identified only as Wang, is now suffering from kidney failure and his health is deteriorating. The surgery, which took place last April, might have gone undetected had Wang's mother not been suspicious when her son returned home with a new iPhone and iPad 2. When she asked where he had gotten the money to purchase the expensive iDevices, he confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys for 22,000 yuan (about $3,500 USD). In 2007, the human organ trade was banned in China. Unfortunately, the need for kidney transplants far exceeds the available organs, creating a demand that fuels the black market. The southern provence of Anhui, where Wang lives, is one of the poorest in China. We can imagine the desire that fueled Wang’s drastic decision: much of the world seems to be driven by the technology we use and the future seems to be the age of the iDevice. If you were in Wang's place, would you be tempted to sell a kidney for an iDevice or two? Well, we don't suggest it. And we don't think Wang does either.