Chinese Kid Sells His Kidney for an iPad and iPhone, Suffers Renal Failure

Though you might say you'd give your left arm for an iPad, you only mean it figuratively. But one Chinese teen actually sold his kidney to make enough money to buy the Apple tablet and an iPhone, and now five people have been charged with intentional injury in the case.

The bottom line? A kidney for an iPad is not a good trade.

The 17-year-old, known only by his family name of Wang, received $3,500 when he put his kidney on the black market last April. Which is chump change compared to the organ's $35,000 asking price, which was shared among the surgeon, the medical staff, the fixer, and the three other people charged in the case.

The sale wasn't discovered until Wang's mother noticed that he'd bought the Apple gear with his own money. When she asked where he got the cash, he fessed up. The weirdest part? It wouldn't have even been a crime five years ago; the human organ trade wasn't banned in China until 2007. 2007!

Today, Wang suffers from renal deficiency, meaning his kidneys can no longer filter out toxins from his blood. Doctors say he's going to need a transplant of his own. Unfortunately, as he knows better than anyone by now, those are incredibly hard to come by. Unless you've got $35,000 lying around. [New York Times]

Update: According to Wired and Reuters, five people, including the surgeon and medical staff, have all been charged with intent to harm in this case.

Image credit: Shutterstock/Zdorov Kirill Vladimirovich