Doctor says organ joke unethical
A doctor has called the viral "kidney-for-iPhone 14" memes inappropriate and unethical.
Apple's iPhone is known to be one of the most expensive mobile products. Netizens have been facetiously sharing memes poking fun at the price of the upcoming iPhone 14, which currently retails for pre-order in the kingdom for 41,900–44,900 baht.
Dr Sophon Mekthon, managing director of the Organ Donation Centre under the Thai Red Cross Society, on Sunday said organ trading is illegal and the meme's suggestion that people are willing to sell their kidneys for an iPhone is inappropriate and unethical.
He said the Thai Red Cross Society is in charge of organ donations and insisted that there is no organ trading in the country.
Transplants are only done between close family members, such as parents and children, he added.
"There is no organ trading," he said. "That is prohibited.
"It is inappropriate to suggest selling organs, especially to get money to buy an iPhone," he said. "It is morally wrong and unethical."
Dr Sophon said people can donate their bodies for medical study and organs, such as hearts, eyes and livers, but only after death.
He also urged people to sign up to become organ donors after their death, adding there is a shortage of donors and about 6,000 people are on a waiting recipients list.
Currently, nearly 2 million people have signed up to become organ donors with the Organ Donation Centre under the Thai Red Cross Society, he said.