11/03/2012, 00.00
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China to end harvesting of organs from death row inmates by 2013

This was announced by Ministry of Health expert Dr. Wanh Haibo. From next year, Beijing will have a new national system for organ donation and transplantation, created by the University of Hong Kong and run by the Red Cross. For the expert, the current practice is "unethical and unsustainable."

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China will stop the removal of organs from death row inmates from next year. This was announced by Dr. Wang Haibo, director of the China Organ Transplant Response System Center (which operates under the Ministry of Health), explaining that 2013 a new national system for organ donation and transplantation will be ready. Quoted by the November issue of the World Health magazine, the expert said that the current program is "immoral and unsustainable" and will be gradually abandoned.

Haibo, also deputy director of the China Liver Transplant Registry at the medical school of the University of Hong Kong, said: "Although we can not prevent death row inmates from donating their organs, a system based only on their explants is immoral and unsustainable. "

According to the doctor, in recent years the number of explants stands between 8 thousand and 10 thousand, with 35% of them coming from living donors. However, exact figures regarding those executed are unknown.

The Ministry of Health has given the Red Cross the go ahead to manage the new system of organ donation and transplantation, created by researchers at the University of Hong Kong. In addition, in the coming months it will launch a campaign to raise awareness.

Mainland China is the second country in the world for the number of organ transplants performed each year. In the first place there is the United States. Beijing has repeatedly been targeted by the international community for this practice. According to the United Nations, which in 2009 sent one of its members to visit the prisons in China, the Chinese government "puts pressure on prisoners to obtain their willingness to donate organs."

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