Please don’t actually sell your kidneys for an iPhone 14: Thai Red Cross

Photo: Dr. Nith Beauty Center
Photo: Dr. Nith Beauty Center

Bartering away vital organs in exchange for smartphones is illegal, a health official warned yesterday in response to a jokey photo spreading across social media.

Responding to online unease over viral marketing that suggested new iPhones could be obtained with a kidney, a doctor with the Red Cross condemned its “misleading” message – just in case anyone was getting any ideas.

“There is no organ trading like this. It’s prohibited,” Sophon Mekthon of the Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Center. “It’s inappropriate that organ trading is promoted, especially to exchange one for money to buy an iPhone. It’s immoral and unethical.”

Selling body parts for shiny new iPhone 14s became an actual topic after a beauty clinic in Laos published an image of three people holding up new phones while displaying blood-soaked and bandaged belly wounds that looked like surgical scars.

The photo made it to the Thai net Saturday via a meme page that garnered lots of laugh reactions – and comments criticizing its insensitivity.

“I want you to know that this kind of joke is not funny at all,” Satsada Thanaborirak wrote. “And do you know what values are being created/directed to society?”

“Retarded,” read another comment.

“Selling one’s kidney” has been adopted in internet parlance in recent years for all the big-ticket items Thais struggle to afford – especially a slew of festivals with big name lineups that cost thousands of baht.

iPhone 14s became available for preorder last week for exorbitant prices ranging from THB32,900 to THB66,900, depending on the model and storage capacity.

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