“WILL sell kidney owing to serious economic problems. Price and conditions to be agreed,” proclaims an advert on the Internet.
The advertisement is no hoax but was put on a web-page of advertisements by Antonio, a 48-year-old father of three who lives in Valencia City.
Antonio has been without regular work for three years, his savings have gone is and he is down to his last 60 cents. His partner’s work contract has expired and now that she is out of work they survive on the money Antonio brings in with sporadic odd-jobs.
Antonio’s three children are looked after by the same relatives who occasionally help out with money or, as they did last week, pay the couple’s weekly shopping bill.
And it is for the children’s sake that he is willing to lose a kidney, said Antonio who decided to take this step last Christmas.
Remembering that his mother had a kidney removed many years previously without further health problems, Antonio decided to sell one of his own.
After consulting the internet he learnt that outside Spain people were offering to sell a kidney for as little as €10,000 or as much as $1 million.
“Morally I know that should not be doing this, but it’s essential to eat,” he insisted while admitting that he has not approached social services for help and hopes not to.
Antonio’s internet announcement has received 53 visits but no offers. He is aware that the sale of organs is illegal and Spain’s strict medical controls mean that his venture is doomed to failure on Spanish soil.
Nevertheless, he is determined to go ahead and knows what he would do with the money: “Open a bar,” confided Antonio who said he had experience in the trade.