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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hello, We've Come For Your Liver

Speaking of dystopian scenarios:

China’s Health Ministry has explicitly banned sales of human organs in an apparent attempt to clean up the country’s lucrative but laxly regulated transplant business.

New regulations viewed on the Health Ministry’s Web site Tuesday forbid the buying and selling of organs and require that donors give written permission for their organs to be transplanted.

While China has long defended its transplant business as legal, little information about it is publicly available. Critics contend it is profit-driven with little regard for medical ethics.
...
The true number of transplants carried out annually isn’t known, although a professional group, the Chinese Society of Transplantation, says about 5,000 kidney transplants and 1,500 liver transplants were carried out in 2003.

Human rights groups say many organs — including those transplanted into wealthy foreigners — come from executed prisoners who may not have given their permission, claims China routinely denies. Voluntary donations remain far below demand, partly because of cultural biases against organ removal.

Safety concerns about the transplant industry also have surfaced. Last month, Japan announced it was examining cases involving at least eight Japanese patients who received organ transplants in China and later fell seriously ill or died from infections and other problems after returning home.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman repeated China’s insistence that all organ transplants were conducted with the permission of the donor.

“It is a complete fabrication, a lie or slander to say that China forcibly takes organs from the people convicted of the death penalty for the purpose of transplanting them,” Qin said.

The new Chinese rules limit transplant surgery to top-ranked institutions that must verify the organs are from legal sources and that the procedure is safe and justified.

[shudder]

Um...I guess I have no other comment on this.

ntodd

March 28, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

I'd file this under the category of "Things That Would Be Great For China If Actually Practiced." Also present in that file, for what it's worth, are religious freedom and rule of law.

Posted by: Philo | Mar 28, 2006 10:09:12 PM

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