China to possibly end prisoner organ transplants

photo5A prominent medical expert has said that China will cease transplanting organs from executed prisoners in 2015. Huang Jiefu, the architect of China’s transplant system and a former deputy health minister has explained that the transplant will be carried out solely among voluntary donators. According to Huang, every year, around 300,000 patients need organ transplants but only 10,000 surgeries are performed.

For quite some time, the organ transplant situation in China has been in a mess with a lot of illegal trades taking place on the black market and even in licensed hospitals, where it is common for people to take advantage of organ scarcity to make profit. ‘Before 2007, more than 600 medical organizations could deal with organ transplants,’ Huang said. And he added: ‘Driven by financial benefits, many illegal acts happened and nonstandard surgeries were performed.’

Among the problems is the use of executed prisoners’ organs, he said. In China, about 65% of transplanted organs are from the deceased, with executed prisoners the source of more than 90% of them, said Huang in an article. Chinese media reports say up to now, 38 major medical institutions in Guangdong, Beijing and Zhejiang have stopped using organs from executed prisoners.

Source: China Radio International