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China Harvesting Death Row Prisoner Organs

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I know this story is not at all new and I know that I have previously argued that it would be a kernel of truth with a massive amount of myth and supposition built around it.


Well, looks like I may have been wrong. Today, China basically admitted it. The content of China Daily is strongly "directed" by Party wishes.







Public call for organ donations

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

Updated: 2009-08-26 07:38



China launched a national organ donation system yesterday in a bid to gradually shake off its long-time dependence on executed prisoners as a major source of organs for transplants and as part of efforts to crack down on organ trafficking.


The system, operated mainly by the Red Cross Society of China with assistance from the Ministry of Health, will begin as pilot projects in 10 provinces and cities.


"The system is in the public interest and will benefit patients regardless of social status and wealth in terms of fairness in organ allocation and better procurement," said Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu.


Under the system, the Red Cross is responsible for encouraging post-death organ donations among the public, receiving donor registrations, keeping a database, starting a fund to provide financial assistance for needy, surviving families of donors and overseeing the allocation of donated organs according to set principles.


"Transplants should not be a privilege for the rich," Huang said.


The late, famous Chinese actor Fu Biao received two liver transplants within several months in 2005, raising doubts about the fairness of organ allocation, given that the waiting time for the general public can be years - even if one is lucky enough to get a match, let alone have a second surgery.


Currently about one million people in China need organ transplants each year while only 1 percent receive one, official statistics show.

Only about 130 people on the mainland have signed up to donate their organs since 2003, according to research on the promotion of organ donation after death by professor Chen Zhonghua with the Institute of Organ Transplantation of Tongji Hospital.


The system will help find more willing donors who didn't know how to donate, said Jiang Yiman, the society's deputy director at the launch yesterday in Shanghai. "The Chinese have a tradition of helping others in need and the potential of organ donations from the public is yet to be tapped," she said.


Organ donors


Executed prisoners, who experts estimate account for more than 65 percent of total donors, "are definitely not a proper source for organ transplants," said Vice-Minister Huang.


That the rights of death-row prisoners to donate is fully respected and written consent from them is required, he told China Daily.


Qian Jianmin, chief transplant surgeon with the Shanghai Huashan Hospital, said hospitals performing transplants not only treat patients getting organs from executed prisoners, but have to deal with other levels of government, including the justice department.


"Corruption can arise during the process," he said.


Some just ignore legal procedures regarding organ donations from executed prisoners and make a fat profit, Huang said.


All costs are passed on to patients. Sometimes the recipient pays up to 200,000 yuan ($29,000) for a kidney, not including other medical services.

China issued an organ transplant law in 2007 that bans organ trafficking and only allows donations from living people to blood relatives and spouses, plus someone considered "emotionally connected."


However, organ middlemen have been faking documents in order to make a person who is desperately in need of money be considered "emotionally connected" to the recipients, reports said.


Living transplants increased to 40 percent of total transplants from 15 percent in 2006, Chen Zhonghua said.


"That's one of the daunting tasks facing us as we try to end the organ trade by establishing this system," Huang noted.


Other goals include preventing organ tourism, improving transplant quality, better defining donors' rights and satisfying patients' needs for transplants in an ethical manner.


"With more organ donations from the public, the total cost for transplants will decrease," he said.


The exact cost for transplants varies from place to place and largely remains an industry secret. But experts said it's at least 100,000 yuan.


Praise for initiative


"We welcome the emphasis put on fair practice in organ procurement, allocation and transplant, echoing the WHO guiding principles on transplantation," said Luc Noel, coordinator of clinical procedures in the essential health technologies department at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva.


"China is establishing the national network and authority necessary to initiate and maximize organ donations from deceased donors and thus progress towards the global mainstream in organ donation and transplantation," he said.


The system will be operated at both State and provincial levels. Donated organs would be allocated locally first and then nationally.


"My colleagues and I welcome the system, which will facilitate our efforts to save more patients and help medical workers concentrate more on practicing medicine," said transplant surgeon Qian, whose hospital performs about 150 transplants each year.


Wang Yuling, a young white-collar worker in Beijing, said she'd donate if it really helps someone in need instead of making someone rich.


The pilot projects will take place across the country, including Shanghai, Tianjin, Fujian (Xiamen), Jiangsu (Nanjing), Hubei (Wuhan), Liaoning, Shandong and Jiangxi. The system will then be introduced nationwide, Jiang said.


When asked for a specific timetable when the system will cover the whole country, Huang said the process took 20 years in United States.


"I hope it'll be faster in China. We are still searching for the best way," he said.


"Details about the system, like how to clearly define responsibilities for all stakeholders under the system, including the Red Cross and health administrations, are still under discussion," Jiang said.






I have a very hard time believing that only 130 people out of 1,300,000,000 have voluntarily signed up to donate their organs yet thousands of prisoners on death row willingly volunteered. I'd also hazard a guess that the number of executions admitted to in China and the number of organ transplants by prisoners may not add up.


I'd also make the assumption that a significant number of prisoners were found guilty and executed for reasons directly related to the money that would be received for their organs, not whether they are guilty or innocent.

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Just don't make the mistake of seeing this as official policy or even tacitly sanctioned. The only way this is a reflection of the State is as to the massive levels of corruption in China. A lot of this corruption takes place at the (local) official level but that is simply that, corruption.


It's the kind of thing that's akin to Mayors taking bribes for developments or judges taking bribes for legal rulings, etc. It happens in lower level official circles but is not official policy.

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I'm trying my hardest to put one of my organs in to Chinese women here.


Seriously though, I don't see this being a viable means to even slow down organ harvesting for profit.

This is more like a "we tried" type of show, I'm betting less than one percent of Chinese will even consider donating.

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Kidneys illegally sold online

13:29, October 27, 2009

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum


Kidneys are being freely traded on the Internet which is functioning as a medium for sellers and the organ brokers who are gaining huge profits. Internet sites are flooded with people who want to make extra money by offering their kidneys, which can be sold for 40,000 yuan ($5,900) to 60,000 yuan.


Two major online forums http://www.02066.com.cn and http://www.as.2sun.cn, are operating for organ brokers in dozens of cities across the country, including Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou and Shangqiu in Henan province, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, Dongguan in Guangdong province, Changchun in Jilin province and Hefei in Anhui province.


More than 1 million people need kidney transplants every year in China but only 1 percent of them undergo the surgery because of the nation's organ shortage, according to official statistics. Experts say four out of every five patients die while waiting for a suitable match.


Humans are born with two kidneys, but a person is able to live normally with only one.


Ministry of Health officials said the trade in human kidneys is illegal, and pointed to the creation of a new database that has been designed to make organs available to the approximately 1 million Chinese waiting for transplants. The database began as a pilot project in some areas, including Shanghai, in September.


A broker named Xiao Wei in Beijing said the market needs kidneys from people with A, B, and O blood types. Sellers need to undergo medical testing to prove they are healthy. Fees for physical tests and surgeries are covered by the brokers.


However, the purchasers usually have to pay brokers 130,000 yuan for one kidney.


"We have connections with hospitals and doctors, so sellers will be safe during and after the surgery," Xiao told China Daily yesterday.


Almost all of their transplants in Beijing are done in top hospitals with organ transplant licenses. The purchasers can decide where to have the surgery, he said.


An agent surnamed Liu in Xingtai, Hebei province, said he can arrange kidney transplants for foreign patients as well. "I did it for several foreigners and whatever we do will go undetected," Liu said.


A 27-year-old man said online in August that he intended to sell his kidney to save his brother's life. "I needed money but I was not able to get 100,000 yuan in a few days," he said. "I heard it's OK with my body to cut out one of my kidneys, so I decided to do it."


People who suffer from kidney failure need another kidney that is healthy and matches their blood type.


Chen Shi, a professor in medicine at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said the illegal trade must be banned to protect people's rights.


"Organ donations should be greatly encouraged to solve the organ shortage nationwide," he said.


Source: China Daily

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Executed prisoners, who experts estimate account for more than 65 percent of total donors
:eek: ..Oh Great, Is this the same road that our nation is headed down?

The next thing you know they will be shutting off civilian internet access. I am curious as to how these stats were actually estimated though, that percentage sounds way low..Im to believe they account for more then 85 percent.

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