This year at the American Transplant Congress in Boston, the issue of organ harvesting in China has become a concern for many top transplant surgeons.
The annual forum attracted 5,000 participants from around the world, running for five days from June 2-6.
Veteran transplant surgeons are saying the use of executed or death row prisoners for organ transplants is dubious, with the issue of consent very much in question.
[Dr. Lloyd Ratner, Dir., Renal & Pancreatic Transplantation, Columbia Univ. Med. Ctr.]:
“Many of the organs being used for transplantation in China are coming from executed prisoners. So there’s really concern about who these people are, what role do they have in consenting to have their organs [removed] and are they being executed, [because of this] whereas they shouldn’t be, just because someone may be making a profit off their organs, so there’s a lot of ethical concerns. ”
The US State Department’s 2011 Human Rights Report, published in May, addressed the issue of illicit organ harvesting in China, mentioning Falun Gong practitioners and Uighurs. Similarly, Dr. Seth Karp of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center says organ transplant societies in the US cannot tolerate the practice of forced organ harvesting.
[Dr. Seth Karp, Director, Vanderbilt Transplant Center]:
“The transplant community in general has put some pressure on the Chinese government and the Chinese people, to say that if this practice is going on it’s very important that we know about it and that we cannot go along with this type of practice.”
The director of the transplant program at Massachusetts General Hospital says there’s a good reason why in the US organs are not allowed to be sold.
[Dr. Jay Fishman, Transplant Program Director, Mass. General Hospital]:
“I think we’ve been very careful in the United States to maintain this voluntary system of organ donation to be sure that is not only safe but fair and that everyone can get organs who deserves it. As a result we do not do not pay for organs, and we certainly don’t use organs from executed prisoners.”
During the organ transplant forum, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting hosted two seminars in Boston, exposing evidence of the Chinese communist regime’s organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.