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    » 05/02/2007, 00.00

    CHINA

    Human organ trade officially banned in China



    China’s authorities have been accused of allowing the use of organs harvested from prisoners and road accidents victims without their consent. Doctors involved will now lose their licence to practice; public officials will go to jail. For experts the problem remains: how to trace organs’ provenance.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China has formally banned trading in human organs amid allegations that public officials and doctors are heavily involved in harvesting body parts from executed prisoners and car accident victims.

    Under the new regulations doctors found to be involved in such activities will have their licences revoked, whilst clinics or hospitals would be suspended from doing organ transplant operations for at least three years. Officials convicted of trading in human organs will be arrested and kicked out of the government. Everyone will be fined eight to ten times the value of the outlawed trade.

    The authorities have long been accused of harvesting organs from executed prisoners and road accident victims for transplant without the consent of the prisoners or their families.

    In the past the government has denied such charges, saying organs are voluntarily donated by ordinary citizens and executed criminals who gave consent before their deaths. But in November it had to admit that most organs came from executed prisoners without their consent and accused surgeons.

    Despite the acknowledgement for experts the problem remains, namely how to accurately trace organs.

    Foreign patients facing a shortage of compatible organs in their home countries have flocked to China for transplant. This has made the country the world’s second largest performer of transplants after the United States, with about 5,000 operations carried out on annual basis.

    However, China itself has about 1.5 million patients in need of a transplant each year, but only 10,000 organs are found, a figure that is different from the annual number of operations.

    Organ sales are advertised on Chinese websites (on average, US$ 65,000 for a kidney and US$ 140,000/160,000 for a heart).

    Last year Beijing had already adopted another regulation in force since July 1 that required transplants be performed only in hospitals, by specialised doctors and with organs coming from donors alone. However, it failed to have any real result since the authorities have had to adopt a stricter set of rules.

    The new ban does not apply to transplants of human tissue such as cells, corneas or bone marrow.

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    See also

    20/04/2006 CHINA
    Transplant organs removed without executed prisoners' consent
    British group charges doctors and authorities are involved in the lucrative business. Many are concerned that demand for organs leads to executions.

    04/12/2014 CHINA
    For the umpteenth time, Beijing announces the end of organ harvesting from prisoners
    Long criticised by the international community, China will end the practice in 2015, said the director of the China Organ Donation and Transplant Committee. However, Chinese authorities have been saying that same thing for years without actual results. Ordinary Chinese also have concerns about whether the organs will be allocated in a fair, open and just way."

    16/11/2006 CHINA
    China officially admits executed prisoners are the basis of organ trafficking
    Health authorities acknowledge the problem for the first time. They also recognise the existence of an organ black market but deny public officials are involved, blaming instead surgeons, who in turn, refute such allegations.

    14/10/2005 china
    Death toll still rising in China's coal mine


    18/05/2012 VIETNAM
    Vietnam, Central Highlands: Bus plunges off a bridge, 34 dead and 21 injured
    The bus left Buon Ma Thuot yesterday evening and was bound for Ho Chi Minh City. For reasons still unclear it crashed into a river. Victims include the two drivers of the vehicle. Every day in the country an average of 33 people die in road accident. This year, a decrease of 30% over the first quarter of 2011.



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