BEIJING (AP) -- Authorities have indicted five people in central China for involvement in illegal organ trading after a teenager sold one of his kidneys to buy an iPhone and an iPad.
The case has prompted an outpouring of concern that not enough is being done to guard against the negative impact of increasing consumerism in Chinese society, particularly among young people who have grown up with more creature comforts than the generations before them.
Prosecutors in the city of Chenzhou charged the suspects with intentional injury for organizing the removal and transplant of a kidney from a 17-year-old high school student surnamed Wang, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Friday.
A woman on duty Saturday at the Chenzhou Beihu District People's Procuratorate in Hunan province confirmed that prosecutors are handling the case and that the defendants are facing charges of intentional injury.
She refused to give her name and referred further questions to the city-level procuratorate's media office, where phone calls rang unanswered.
The defendants include a surgeon, a hospital contractor, and brokers who looked for donors online and leased an operating room to conduct the procedure, Xinhua said.
It said about 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants, but that only about 10,000 transplants are performed each year, fueling the illegal trade in organs.
Xinhua described one of the defendants named He Wei as being broke and frustrated over gambling debts. It said he asked another defendant to look for organ donors in online chat rooms and someone else to lease an operating room for the transplant, which took place in April last year.
He 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.
When the student returned home, he was asked how he could afford a new iPhone and an iPad and he told his mother that he sold one of his kidneys, the report said.
The Southern Daily newspaper reported last month that other individuals have sold, or seriously considered selling, their kidneys to earn money for reasons that included paying off large debts, making a payment on a smartphone, or paying for an abortion for a girlfriend.
``Without facing complete hardship, these young people born after the 1990s made rash decisions. In the choice between their bodies and materialism, they resolutely chose the latter,'' the official Communist Party newspaper Guangming Daily said in an editorial late last month about the Southern Daily report.
``In today's society where desires are infinite and demands are boundless ... blindly competing with others in the pursuit of high-end 'technology' will gradually ruin lives,'' it said.
中 10대, 신장 팔아 아이폰·아이패드 구입
중국의 10대 고등학생이 아이폰과 아이패드를 구매하기 위해 자신의 신장을 매매한 사실이 알려져 논란이 일고 있다.
이번 사건은 이전 세대에 비해 편리한 환경에서 성장한 중국 청소년들의 소비 문화를 재조명하는 기회과 되고 있다. 중국 후난성(湖南省) 천저우 경찰은 6일 오후 17세 왕모군의 장기 제거 수술을 집도한 의사와 병원 직원, 브로커 등 모두 5명을 체포했다.
왕모군은 인터넷 채팅방을 통해 장기매매를 알아낸 뒤 2만2000위안(3500달러)를 받고 장기를 이식하는 수술을 받았다. 왕모군은 아이폰과 아이패드를 무슨 돈으로 구입했냐고 추궁하는 어머니에게 결국 신장을 매매한 사실을 알렸다.
중국에서 장기이식을 필요로 하는 사람은 150만명에 이르지만 장기이식 수술을 받는 사람은 매년 1만명에 불과해 장기매매가 성행하고 있다.