Almost all of us have said at one time or another that we would ‘give our left arm’ for this or that. Last year, Wang Shangkun, a Chinese high school student took that figure of speech more than a little too far by arranging to selling one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2.
He actually went through with it too, allowing the kidney to be removed after a broker contacted him over the Internet, offering 20,000 yuan (about USD $3,000) for the organ.
After the boy’s mother, Ou Linchun, noticed the iPad in his bedroom, she contacted the authorities knowing the tablets were only affordable for very wealthy Chinese citizens. In the end, five individuals were arrested in connection with the case including the surgeon who actually performed the surgery to remove the boy’s kidney. The charges they are currently standing trial over include intentional injury and illegal organ trading over the removal and sale of the organ and each of them face three to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Despite the way it looks, Wang’s mother asserts that her son did not sell his kidney specifically to purchase an iPad. She explains by saying that her son “was tempted by the illegal organ traders and might have been afraid of getting caught with such a large amount of money, so he bought a cell phone and a tablet PC.”
Regardless of the specific purchases he had in mind, clearly the idea was to make some much-needed money; but Wang is not alone. Reports indicate that Chinese police have recently arrested at least 137 people, including doctors and other individuals suspected of trafficking human organs in a nationwide crime ring kept running due to the huge demand for transplants.
The 18-year old Wang is currently in serious condition suffering from Renal Deficiency (decreased kidney function).