Having 2 family members that have had an organ transplant, I do a bit of research on the subject. Today I stumbled upon a story about a Chinese boy who gave up his kidney by selling in China’s black market… Reason? For an iPad2! Ironic as Steve Jobs also recently had a liver transplant.
A 17-year old with the last name Zheng wanted an iPad 2 so bad that he decided to sell one of his kidneys to get one. In a society where organ trading is surprisingly common, Zheng stumbled across an advertisement online offering RMB20,000 for one of his kidneys. (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.) After talking it over with an agent (how sinister sounding), the boy traveled to Chenzhou in the Hunan Province to have the operation performed. After three days he was discharged with the money.
“I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn’t have the money,” the boy told Shenzhen TV in the southern province of Guangdong, “When I surfed the internet I found an advert posted online by agent saying they were able to pay RMB20,000 to buy a kidney.” After negotiations, the boy travelled north to the city of Chenzhou in Hunan Province where the kidney was removed at a local hospital which discharged him after three days, paying a total of RMB22,000 for the organ.
Of course, a happy ending is rare in cases of black market organ removal and Apple products, as the young man apparently suffered complications AND his mother was absolutely livid. After inquiring as to where her son got the money to purchase what was revealed to be a laptop and a new Apple headset, the boy showed his mother, identified as Miss Liu, his fancy new scar. She ended up taking him back to the hospital where the procedure was performed, though they denied even knowing that the surgery took place.
According to official statistics more than a million people in China need a transplant every year, but fewer than 10,000 receive organs, driving an almost unstoppable black-market organ trade that enriches brokers, doctors and corrupt government officials.
In the US: As of late 2010, a total of approximately 93,000 patients were registered on the kidney transplant waiting list at the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in the United States. The kidney transplant waiting list in the United States had been expanding by 3000 to 4000 patients each year.