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    » 03/23/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    "Organ donations from condemned prisoners will be abolished within five years"



    For years, Beijing has tried to sidestep the issue, but this week, it admitted that death row prisoners have been used for organ donations after their execution. The decision to stop does not stem from any humanitarian considerations, but from the fact that organs come from donors with high infection rates.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - China plans to abolish the transplanting of organs from executed prisoners within five years; instead, it will try to spur more citizens to donate, a top health official said.

    After refusing to acknowledge the practice for a long time, Chinese authorities admitted it last Sunday, insisting however that only prisoners who volunteered their organs were involved, Xinhua reported today, citing Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu.

    The decision does not stem from any humanitarian considerations, but from the fact that the practice is very risky.

    Prisoner organ donations are not ideal because condemned inmates have high rates of fungal and bacterial infections, Huang said.

    "Therefore, the long-term survival rates for people with transplanted organs in China are always below those of people in other countries," Xinhua cited the vice health minister as saying.

    In the past, China has been criticised by the international community for this practice. According to the United Nations, which sent an envoy in 2009 to visit Chinese prisons, local authorities put pressures on prisoners to donate.

    "Organ donations from condemned prisoners will be abolished within five years," Xinhua wrote, citing Huang.

    Instead, hospitals will rely on a national organ donation system that is being set up. Trial systems have already been launched in 16 provinces.

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    See also

    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.

    26/08/2009 CHINA
    Organ trafficking flourishes. The government tries to regulate it.
    The launch of the system in 10 provinces and cities, including Shanghai. The new rules aim to stop trafficking and illegal operations, ending the lucrative transplants for foreigners.

    19/02/2009 SOUTH KOREA
    Cardinal Kim’s first miracle: pledged organ donations increase threefold
    Today the ceremony of dressing the body will take place. The funeral is scheduled for 10 am tomorrow. Every day about 100,000 people, Catholics and non-Catholics, are filing by the cardinal’s casket in Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral to say their final farewell. Daejong bishop reminisces.

    02/05/2007 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.

    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."



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