Fri, Dec 06, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Human heart ad appears online

By Huang Chien-hua and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Police in southern Taiwan said they are investigating a bizarre online offer of a “free heart” recently posted by an anonymous netizen.

The offer was seen on Professional Technology Temple (PTT) — the nation’s largest academic online bulletin board — stating that the heart is from a healthy 30-year-old from Greater Tainan.

Kuo Ting-tai (郭丁太), head of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Greater Kaohsiung Police Department, said the message was against the law, whether it was genuine or a hoax.

The PTT message, titled “Free Gift of an Adult Heart,” was posted on Monday and has generated heated debate among netizens.

“We heard that over 8,000 inviduals in Taiwan need a heart transplant. This offer is not an organ sale. It is a free give-away. Blood type B, non-smoker and non-drinker,” the message reads. “For those in need of [the heart], I urge PTT netizens to help connect people, so it can be sent out soon. For the person who needs it, I expect fate will link us soon.”

The posting has attracted much interest, with some netizens pointing out that unless organ donation is carried out through the hospital system it is illegal.

Most netizens saw the offer as a joke, but a number of people concerned about black market organ dealing reported the post to the Greater Kaohsiung Police Department.

Police believe the offer is likely a prank. However, Kuo added that “there are laws governing organ donation in this country. We will ask the PTT Web site manager to remove the message, and we will try to find out the author’s motives.”

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