New evidence China is selling organs of executed prisoners

Some prominent UK scientists say there is now “an accumulating weight of evidence” that entrepreneurial Chinese organ traffickers are harvesting and selling thousands of body parts from executed prisoners.

Top British transplant surgeons have accused China of harvesting the organs of thousands of executed prisoners a year to sell for transplants.

The British Transplantation Society condemned the practice as unacceptable and a breach of human rights, in a statement released on Wednesday. The move comes less than a week after Chinese officials publicly denied the practice. In March, China said it would ban the sale of human organs from July.

The British Transplantation Society says an accumulating weight of evidence suggests the organs of thousands of executed prisoners in China are being removed for transplants without consent. Professor Stephen Wigmore, who chairs the society’s ethics committee, told the BBC that the speed of matching donors and patients, sometimes as little as a week, implied prisoners were being selected before execution.

Just last week a Chinese health official said publicly that organs from executed prisoners were sometimes used, but only with prior permission and in a very few cases. But widespread allegations have persisted for several years – including from international human rights groups.

Professor Wigmore said: “The weight of evidence has accumulated to a point over the last few months where it’s really incontrovertible in our opinion. We feel that it’s the right time to take a stance against this practice.”

Everything in China can be reduced to a dollar value. Absolutely everything. Frankly, I’d be surprised if this weren’t happening. It’s easy to rationalize; hell, “they’re dead anyway” so what’s the difference? As long as there’s money to be made from this, it’ll continue, just like pirating DVDs.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Absolutely sickening. You’re spot on, Richard- everything has a dollar sign here; I see it every time I’m on the roads. For a ‘socialist’ country, where are all the charities (I mean Chinese ones, not the ones they rely on foreigners to set up on their behalf)? If I walked down a Wangfujing in the West how many people and groups do you think I’d encounter asking for support or money for some worthy cause? Here no-one gives a damn.

April 19, 2006 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

In china, the amount of organ donation is staying at a very very low level. this is because in common chinese thoughts, an intact body is essential to their lives after death. but in other hands, there are so many patients desperately needs organs for surgery to prolong their lives. so this comes a conflict, where do they get their needed organs?
the cheapest way maybe comes from the prioners.

April 19, 2006 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

Here i’m not defending for the organ donation. what i am saying is doubting the china goverment’s defense.

April 19, 2006 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

“In March, China said it would ban the sale of human organs from July.”

That was a classic bit of Chinese PR. If you read the smallprint of their statement it was Chinese state hospitals who made this announcement. However, they have no jurisdiction over Chinese military hospitals (who will continue the practise). Now, which type of hospital do you think is responsible for executing prisoners? Well, military hospitals of course …

April 19, 2006 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

Keir: Theoretically, China is not a socialist country, it’s a communist country (!), and people under both those ideologies rely on the state to look after the deprived/re-align society to the benefit of all, thus rendering charity unecessary.

But I do see your point.

April 20, 2006 @ 3:19 am | Comment

As I see it, the sale/use of the organs is only unethical to the degree that it would tend to sustain the practice of capital punishment. Non?

April 20, 2006 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

Even if you believe in the use of capital punishment, this skews the judge into saying “guilty” more often, since the court benefits from the sale of the body parts.

April 20, 2006 @ 4:42 pm | Comment

Yep. I should have said sustain AND promote.

April 20, 2006 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

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