China continues to use executed prisoners to supply its rapidly growing demand for organ transplants, according to Adnan Sharif, of an NGO, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting.
Writing in the BMJ, he says that China’s constant denials that its hospitals are using organs from executed prisoners of conscience, political dissidents, and troublesome ethnic minorities, are implausible.
In fact, evidence of a vast infrastructure of facilities and staff dedicated to big volume solid organ transplantation indicates that organ donation and transplantation activity far exceed China’s official figures, with estimates of up to 90,000 transplants a year. The Tianjin First Center Hospital alone, for example, has boasted that its 46,000 m2 organ transplant centre had over 500 beds, enough for thousands of transplants a year.
In addition, hospitals’ claims of improbably short waiting times, and reports of transplants scheduled in advance, could indicate organs available on demand. This is possible with deceased donors only if the timing of death is known or planned.
Independent verification of transplant atrocities is impossible in China. Rumours are constantly reported in the media, especially the Epoch Times, and several reports have concluded that the rumours are true -- but there is almost no direct proof.
Last year BioEdge reported four high-ranking Chinese doctors and other members of an organ-harvesting racket were jailed. However, a regime critic told the Epoch Times that “the CCP was trying to use the news to spin a narrative around organ harvesting in China—by trying to create a story that these crimes are all committed by individuals and that it’s the Chinese authorities who are trying to stop them.”
Dr Sharif says that other countries should protest. “Until practice in the country can be ethically assured, medical journals should decline translational or clinical transplantation research from China, especially when deceased organ donors are used.”
Michael Cook is the editor of BioEdge
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