Dealers paid doctors to remove student's kidney
Five men, including two doctors, have gone on trial in Chenzhou, Hunan, charged with intentional injury after they harvested a kidney from a high school student who sold it to buy an iPad and an iPhone.
The student's family is also demanding 2.27 million yuan (HK$2.78 million) in compensation from the defendants for serious damage to his health.
He is now classified as disabled.
The student started to search online for organ dealers after his parents broke his computer in a desperate attempt to end his addiction to online video games, jcrb.com, a news portal administered by the Supreme People's Procuratorate, reported.
His mother said his original plan was not to buy an iPad and an iPhone, but devices that would allow him to continue playing online games. She said he later decided to use the money to buy the Apple appliances because he did not know what to do with the money.
The jcrb.com report said organ dealer He Wei, who became involved in the trade to pay off debts, offered payment of 25,000 yuan. Yin Shen, who had sold one of his own kidneys before and who contacted the student online, recommended the student as a donor.
Through another dealer, Tang Shimin, He rented an operating theatre in Chenzhou's No 198 Hospital, a military facility, in April from Su Kaizong, chief of the hospital's urology department. Su supplied an anaesthesia machine and was paid 60,000 yuan for each operation held there.
Tang also found an emergency room surgeon and the surgeon's wife, a nurse, and asked them to help perform the kidney transplant. The surgeon, nurse and an anaesthetist are to stand trial separately.
Song Zhongyu, a senior urologist at the Yunnan Cancer Hospital, conducted the transplant for 50,000 yuan.
Song told the court he was 'an expert on transplants only and was not aware it broke the law. I am the chief surgeon and my job was to be the goalkeeper in technology. I am not obliged to think about whether the hospital was qualified [to conduct transplant surgery] or if the donor was too young,' Hunan news portal voc.com.cn quoted Song as saying.
The person who received the student's kidney paid 216,000 yuan, but the student was given only 22,000 yuan. The student's health deteriorated after the operation and his family then became aware of what had happened.
They went to Chenzhou to report the case to police and a medical appraisal found the student was suffering from permanent loss of some kidney functions.
The student's family has demanded 2.27 million yuan in compensation from the five defendants, the hospital and a Shanghai medical investment company, which subcontracted the business of the urology department from the military hospital. It has denied any links to the organ sale.
The trial was held on Thursday and yesterday. A verdict has yet to be handed down.
The number of organ transplants that are performed in the mainland every year, according to statistics from the ministry of health