In 2011 reports came out about a 17-year-old Chinese student who underwent an illegal operation to sell his kidney to buy an iPad 2. He received 20,000 Yuan, approximately $3,000 for his kidney which he used to buy the iPad and an iPhone 4. The operation was uncovered when his parents questioned him about the expensive products and called in the police on discovering the truth. As a result of the investigation 9 people were brought to stand trial against charges of intention to harm and human organ trafficking.
Yesterday it was heard that, of the 9 defendants a total of 7 have been sentenced to prison as a result of their part in the operation. The defendants included the surgeon, nurses, an anesthesiologist and the agent who arranged the operation. The surgeon has been sentenced to 3 years whilst the agent received 5 years imprisonment. their sentences were allegedly reduced because they made a payment of 1.47 million Yuan, around $230,000 to the family.
The 17-year-old student did not attend the court hearing because he is unwell after being admitted to hospital with renal failure. It was heard that he got involved after visiting a chat room where the agent recruited him and it was alleged that it was to clear debts that the agent had accrued whilst gambling. Whilst the student received $3,000 the group of defendants involved received $35,000 for the sale of the kidney.
Image : The Victim with his mother (below)
Human organ trafficking was made illegal in China in 2007. Annual estimates show that, whilst there are around 1.5 million people who require a transplant, only about 10,000 of then actually get one. China is now setting up a system for organ transplant patients in a bid to try to solve the problem. At the moment, organs are used from executed prisoners although China have vowed to phase this system out over the next 5 years.
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