Organ harvesting of prisoners set to end

5 Dec

China said this week it will end the practice of organ harvesting from executed prisoners by January 1 next year, which is a huge step because there has been a lot of troubling allegations and research about this practice, such as this disturbing report on organ harvesting put out by VICE this week as well.
Basically, very few people in China donate organs (as in other countries) so virtually all organs for transplant have been taken from tens of thousands, maybe more, executed prisoners. The organ transplant trade is so rampant that foreigners even go to China to get organs, basically medical organ tourism.
What’s especially disturbing is the sinister possibility that many of these prisoners may have been alive when their organs were taken, since fresh organs taken from a live person are more efficient than those taken from a dead person, and killed afterwards. Chinese authorities deny this – China also denied harvesting organs from dead prisoners up to a few years ago – but a human rights lawyer, a former Canadian MP and a journalist strongly believe that China has and is continuing to do this.
There are some measures taken by countries such as Israel banning its nationals from traveling to China to receive organs while the EU has advised its citizens not to do the same.
If China does end the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners next year as it stated, that will be good, but there remains some strong skepticism and it will be necessary to see how this issue plays out and how responsible China will be.


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