A surgeon and four others have been charged for illegal organ trading in China following an illicit transplant operation which took place last year on a teenage high-school student, who since has been taken critically ill and is suffering from kidney failure. But this is no ordinary case of illegal organ harvesting: the 17-year old high school student was propositioned to undergo the surgery on an online chat room and had intended to use his profits from selling one of his kidneys to buy, and we're not making this up, an iPhone and iPad.
According to reports, the teenager – who is referred to by surname only, 'Wang' – lives in one of China's poorest areas, the province of Anhui, and agreed to the operation without his parents' consent. It was only when his mother asked him how he came to afford his new crop of gadgets did she get tipped off about the illegal operation. The illegal market for organs is currently thriving in China due to the huge gap in percentage of its population needing transplants (around 1.5 million) and the small fraction of officially-sanctioned transplants currently being performed (just 10,000 annually).
Now suffering from renal deficiency, the boy was paid a total of just 22,000 Yuan (around $3,500) for the organ. The five who face charges each took a split of the $35,000 which was later paid for the kidney; including the surgeon who removed the organ, a hospital contractor, and those who looked for potential donors online and rented an operating room for the purpose of the procedure. Seeing such a news story come to light is truly shocking to us. The fact that an impressionable young boy would lust after these pieces of tech so much that he'd put himself in a life-threatening situation is incredibly disconcerting. How could one possibly justify risking their life for the 'gift' of technology? The power Apple wields scares us.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.