Anderson Cooper on Organ Harvesting in China

Quite a post.

We’re told that tens of thousands of foreigners are paying for transplant surgery in China. The problem is those organs may be cut from an executed death row prisoner without consent. That’s not all. Some organs are said to have been removed before the prisoner took his last breath in order to keep the organs as fresh as possible.

“I can still hear the sounds of those people shouting when they’re having their organs harvested while they are still alive,” one former prisoner told me.

You’re probably asking yourself by now: How is this allowed to happen?

Well, China executes more prisoners than all other nations combined. More than 4,700 men and women were executed in the last two years, according to Amnesty International. People there can be executed even for white collar crimes like tax fraud, embezzlement and bribery.

The harvesting method is cold and calculating: A single shot to the head if chest organs are needed; a shot to the body if the brain or eyes are needed. Recently, China started using “death vans” where lethal injection is administered on the road so all of the organs can be harvested.

I find that last contention interesting. I know about the death vans and the lethal injections. But would you want to buy an organ harvested from someone’s body right after it had been flooded with enough poison to kill the guy?

Meanwhile, not to worry: Cooper tells us China’s deputy health minister assured him all the prisoners whose organs were sliced out and sold for obscene profits had given their prior consent. I’ll bet.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

The CCP is contradicting itself:

“China’s deputy health minister acknowledges the organs are harvested from prisoners. But he says they are only harvested from those who give consent.”


“The Chinese government refused our request for an interview, but issued a statement: “The reports about China’s random transplant of organs from executed criminals are untrue and a malicious slander against [the] Chinese Judiciary System. … In China, it is very prudent to use organs from death penalty criminals.””

June 16, 2006 @ 1:17 am | Comment

Ugh. I hate the death penalty. I hate it in the US, and I hate it in China. One of the few things I ever heard Rupert Murdoch say that I agreed with – he thinks the death penalty increases barbarism in society.

He’s got that right.

June 16, 2006 @ 2:16 am | Comment

And, it is not as though we can take any comfort from the fairness of China’s criminal justice system either.

June 16, 2006 @ 8:52 am | Comment

Apart from the fairness of the justice system, I can’t see an issue here. IF the criminal is guilty, then his execution is entirely legal. And IF he’s executed, why shouldn’t the government use his organs? It’s not dehumanizing–several laws concerning mandatory organ donation have already been discussed in Western countries–and those organs would’ve been taken from medical patients.

June 16, 2006 @ 11:54 am | Comment

A single shot to the head if chest organs are needed; a shot to the body if the brain or eyes are needed.

If the brain is needed?

How many foreigners are coming to China for brain transplants?

June 16, 2006 @ 1:53 pm | Comment

What, you never had a brain transplant?

June 16, 2006 @ 6:41 pm | Comment

t_co, people don’t have issue with harvesting organs given people would otherwise die. With executions there is a lesser point regarding permission.

The main issue is the courts profiting from the organs and therefore becoming skewed in their decision to execute and harvest people.

June 16, 2006 @ 11:46 pm | Comment


June 16, 2006 @ 11:47 pm | Comment

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