- A Korean woman who planned to donate part of her liver in exchange for a job for her son was fined.
- A nurse became suspicious of the woman and reported her to authorities, The Hankyoreh reported.
- She asked a judge for clemency because she didn’t know she was breaking the law.
A woman who planned to donate part of her liver to a man in exchange for cash and a job for her son has been fined, a report said.
Koren publication The Hankyoreh reported that a Korean woman in her 50s named Ms. K. was reported when her prolonged hospitalization after contracting COVID-19 raised suspicions.
In February she was informed that the chairman of a construction company was seriously ill and needed a liver transplant. She met with an employee named Mr. N, who had gone to school with the company’s president – who was also the president’s son.
Ms. K reportedly agreed to donate part of her liver in exchange for 100 million won ($77,000) and a job for her son, according to Das Hankyoreh.
The outlet reported that Ms. K. was hospitalized on March 7 for a pre-donation test and was added to the organ donor registry a week later.
She was later hospitalized for the surgery but tested positive for COVID-19, delaying the procedure. Meanwhile, a nurse, concerned about the nature of the couple’s relationship, reported the woman for organ trafficking.
The operation was then aborted. The chairman died in July while an inquest was being conducted, according to The Hankyoreh.
Their agreement was found to have violated South Korea’s organ transplant law, which states: “No one shall give, receive, or promise to give or receive any money or financial gain.”
A court ordered Ms K to pay a fine of 3 million won (US$2,343), while Mr N was sentenced to six months in prison – with a two-year suspended sentence. An accomplice received a one-year prison sentence.
The Hankyoreh reported that Ms. K. asked the judge for clemency because she did not know that she was breaking the law.
“I thought my son would get a job if the operation was successful. I also got greedy because they promised to give me money,” Ms. K reportedly said during the trial, per The Hankyoreh.
The judge said: “Organ harvesting and transplantation are strictly prohibited by law given that they undermine public health and can endanger the health and life of both the donor and recipient if performed illegally.” Because the actions of the defendants constitute an injury, they cannot escape criminal punishment.”