Chinese Teen Trades Own Kidney for Apple Products

Like most 17-year-olds his age, Wang wanted to keep up with the latest technology and impress his friends. Unlike most 17-year-olds his age, Wang decided that the best way to do that was to sell his kidney for an iPad and an iPhone.

And he had help: five people have been indicted in the case — they are charged with "intentional injury" after helping the teenager remove his kidney. Rest assured that one of the people arrested was a doctor, so it's not like this was an amateur job.

On the other hand, Wang, a high school student, didn't even receive the bulk of the money earned from the illegal organ trade. That went to He Wei, who turned to a life of crime in desperation after being "broke and frustrated over gambling debts."

[He Wei] received 220,000 yuan ($35,000) for the transplant, gave the student 22,000 yuan ($3,500) and shared the remaining money with the other defendants and several medical staff involved in the operation, Xinhua said.

Surely the kid who gives up one of his organs deserves more than one-tenth of the profits, right? Then again, he might not have been the shrewdest criminal mastermind. The plan fell apart when Wang's mom asked how he was able to afford a new iPad and iPhone, and he told her he had sold his kidney. To no one's shock but Wang's, she did not take it well.

Some are saying this reflects a dangerous culture of consumerism, in which young people are willing to risk their bodies in order to keep up with the latest trends. That may be true, but these kids could also use a lesson in human biology — namely why unnecessarily giving up organs is a very bad idea.

[Image via AP]