Finding a job can be extremely hard, no matter your qualifications or education. Oftentimes, people who have a connection to the company or are “nepotism babies” will get the job over someone who does not and cause issues later on for their employer, like the daughter of the then Korean Air CEO who caused the “nut rage” incident.
Parents of those looking for jobs will often go to great lengths to help their children find employment, but how far is too far?
A 50-year-old woman in South Korea was recently issued a fine for attempting to help her son get a job by literally selling part of her body.
In February of this year, a woman identified as Ms. K met with a construction company employee, identified as Mr. N, to make a proposition regarding the company’s chairman, who was in ill health. Mr. N was an associate of the chairman’s son and heard that the chairman needed a liver transplant.
According to Seoul Central District Court, the woman agreed to donate part of her liver in exchange for a job for her son at the company and ₩100 million KRW (about $78,100 USD). The chairman’s son agreed to these terms, and in March, Ms. K entered a hospital to be tested for organ donation approval under the guise of being the chairman’s daughter-in-law.
A week later, she was approved by the National Institute of Organ, Tissue, and Blood Management, the overseeing body for organ donation in Korea. Shortly after entering the hospital for the transplant, Ms. K was diagnosed with COVID-19, causing the surgery to be delayed.
A nurse had suspicions about Ms. K and her caregivers, so they reported her for organ trafficking, causing the operation to be canceled and an investigation to begin.
Korea’s Organ Transplant Act strictly outlaws selling organs in exchange for goods or services, which led to the Seoul Central District Court’s ruling.
Organ removal and transplant is strictly prohibited by law in light of the fact that it can undermine public health and endanger the health and lives of both the donor and the recipient when conducted illegally. Since the defendants’ actions are in violation of this, they cannot avoid punishment under criminal law.
— Seoul Central District Court
Ms. K was ordered to pay a ₩3.00 million KRW (about $2,340 USD) fine, and Mr. N was sentenced to six months in prison for his part in organizing the crime. The chairman who was to receive the organ passed away in July as the investigation was on going.