A 17-year-old student in Anhui Province in China sold one of his kidneys for 20,000 yuan, or about 3,000 U.S. dollars, so he could buy an Apple iPad 2, according to ShanghaiDaily.com. The teenager, identified by his last name, Zheng, said that he had arranged the sale of his kidney on the Internet, BBC News said, citing Chinese media outlets.
According to ShanghaiDaily.com:
"I wanted to buy an iPad 2 but could not afford it," said the boy in Huaishan City. "A broker contacted me on the Internet and said he could help me sell one kidney for 20,000 yuan."
After negotiations, the boy traveled north to the city of Chenzhou in Hunan Province on April 28, where his right kidney was removed at Chenzhou No. 198 Hospital. He was discharged after three days and was paid a total of 22,000 yuan for the organ.
Zheng's mother found out several days later, according to AsiaOne, after she became suspicious when he turned up with a new iPad and a laptop, as well as with a deep red scar on his body, according to BBC News. When he told her what had happened, she brought him to Chenzhou to file a police report.
"I wanted to know how he had got so much money and he finally confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys," his mother said, according to the Telegraph.
The hospital, which admitted leasing out its urology department to a private businessman, denied any knowledge of the surgery. The men who had given Zheng the money could not be reached.
Trading organs online is a common practice in China despite attempts by the government to eradicate the practice. According to official statistics more than a million people in China need transplants every year, but fewer than 10,000 get organs, powering a huge black market for organs that profits brokers, doctors and corrupt government officials. According to BBC News, Chinese authorities banned organ trafficking in 2007, introducing a voluntary donor plan to try to combat the trade,
Zheng has expressed regret over his actions, saying his health has deteriorated since his kidney was removed, according to AsiaOne.