I’ve noted before that I am a big fan of Apple products.  I love my iMac and my iPod, and I’ve grown accustomed to my iPhone.  But, you have to draw a line somewhere — and I confess that I wouldn’t sell a kidney to buy an iPad.

That distinguishes me, evidently, from a teenage boy in China who sold his kidney so he could buy an iPad and iPhone.  The teenager, who apparently was recruited into the scheme through an on-line chat room, received $3,000 for his kidney and used the money to buy the Apple products. Chinese police have arrested five people who were part of the scheme, including the surgeon who removed the kidney.  The five allegedly were paid $35,000 for the kidney.

The scheme unraveled when his mother noticed the new stuff, asked him where he got them, and he admitted to selling his kidney to fund the purchases.  (How can that be?  Was it out-patient surgery, for God’s sake?  Hard to believe that Mom wouldn’t notice her son gimping around with a huge abdominal incision.)

We often hear about how ours is a materialistic society, but apparently we’ve got nothing on the Apple-crazy Chinese.  Selling an organ to buy an iPad reaches a new, and sick, frontier in gross materialism.  And incidentally, the teenager who agreed to the deal is now reported to be suffering from renal failure.  Let’s hope he doesn’t have to trade his iPad and iPhone for dialysis treatments.