The craziness of consumerism can sometimes lead to quite unbelievable situations. This is the case for a young Chinese boy who, a few years ago, decided to sell his kidney on the black market so he could pay for the new iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
Selling organs to buy latest technology
This sad story was published at the end of December 2018 by the Chinese media channel Oriental Daily. The story dates back to 2011 when Apple first launched the new iPhone 4 for around 700 dollars. Xiao Wang aged 17 at the time dreamed of having this smartphone.
As he didn’t have the financial means to buy this phone he decided to instead sell one of his kidneys on the black market for the equivalent of 3, 200 dollars. Xiao Wang told himself that he could live with one kidney until the end of his life, which is risky but possible. Of course, the young boy hid his intentions from his parents and ignored the illegality of selling organs in China.
Health and financial repercussions
After having an illegal surgical operation, the young Chinese boy received his payment and then bought the new iPhone 4 as well as the iPad 2. However the stitches were not done properly and he developed an infection. Xiao Wang didn’t have another choice but to tell his parents who took him straight to accident and emergency.
At the hospital the doctors accessed the damage. The young boy’s other kidney had become infected. Since this day the Xiao Wang has had to regularly make visits to the hospital so that he can have dialyses and follow a rigorous treatment. As well as the many restrictions his condition has imposed upon his, his doctors have also told the young man his life expectancy has been considerably reduced.
Today the young Chinese man is 24 years old and in a difficult situation. Hospital bills have ruined his family despite wining a lawsuit against the illegal clinic that operated on him.
Organ trafficking is rife in China
In China organs that are used for transplants are generally taken from those who have died. However there is a much greater demand for organs than can be provided for by those who have died. In 2012 France Inter broadcast a documentary on the fairly recent phenomenon of illegal websites. On these platforms anyone can exchange an organ for a lump sum of money.
In 2016, a self funded report claimed that behind every 10, 000 organ transplants carried out in hospitals in 2015 were 60, 000 to 90, 000 covered up illegal operations.