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Promoting Ethics in Medicine

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Letter from the Editor 
Ann F. Corson, MD

Given the overwhelming evidence that China’s organ procurement and transplant system is founded on the murder of innocent people and the monetization of their bodies on an epic scale, it is well past time for the rest of the world, especially the Western medical-industrial complex, to disengage from complicity with such hideous acts. The morality and ethics of the global medical profession is at risk.

In a recent interview, associate professor and forensic nurse Dr. Kathleen Thimsen pointed out that China will soon outpace the United States in the number of kidney transplants performed annually and that the global transplant industry should be concerned about the “unrestrained human rights violations and the Chinese methods of procuring those organs.” She added, “This is problematic as it could change the world’s ethics and the whole complexion of transplant medicine, even here in the United States.”

Turning a blind eye and not wanting to believe that forced live organ harvesting is still occurring in China in no longer tenable given the evidence. In an interview on China Insider, independent investigator and author Ethan Gutmann said, “what’s holding us back [from stopping forced organ harvesting in China] is the medical world.”

He urged everyone to “Talk to your doctor, talk to your dentist, talk to your dermatologist, I don’t care who it is. Talk to them and say, ‘Have you heard about this issue? Do you know anything about it? It sounds really awful. Why is the medical community so relaxed about this? Why is this ok?’ That’s what I hope to see. That kind of grassroots change actually can be very, very powerful.”

Two years ago, the China Tribunal stated said that any government, government agency, international organization or educational institution that engages with the Chinese regime is “interacting with a criminal state.”

Despite undeniable evidence of brutal, unethical, and inhuman practices being the norm in China, international organizations, businesses, academic institutions, and individuals investing or doing business in China, as well as hospitals and doctors continue to engage with the Chinese medical industry and transplant professionals. All risk being implicated in genocide.

Many experts agree it is likely that Western collaborators, along with Chinese officials and doctors involved in organ harvesting, will be prosecuted for these crimes in international Nuremberg-like courts.

If we truly believe in the sanctity of life, bodily integrity, and compassion for our fellow human beings, we must immediately, without hesitation, disengage from the Chinese transplant system and denounce the genocide of innocent prisoners of conscience. No more political pandering, no more indifference, no more financial gain over human welfare.

The time is now.

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ISHLT Issues Unprecedented Statement on Engaging with China’s Transplantation System

On June 22, the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation published an unprecedented statement made by the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) on China’s transplantation practices. The “International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Statement on Transplant Ethics,” co-authored by Are Martin HOLM and several other experts in the transplantation field, cautions ISHL members, about 3,000 in 50 countries, to comply with international ethical standards and refrain from supporting transplantation systems which cannot guarantee that ethical and legal standards are being met. “ISHLT members should discourage patients from seeking transplantation in countries where transplantation is not open to external scrutiny and the ethical standards of the ISHLT cannot be assured. ISHLT members should work with their own governments to ensure that such ‘transplant tourism’ that contravenes these ethical principles is made illegal.”

In regards to China’s transplantation system, the ISHLT statement noted that ISHLT members “should not participate in or support the transplantation of organs from executed prisoners or the sale of organs for transplantation. Members of the ISHLT should also refrain from knowingly teaching visiting physicians the art and science of heart and lung transplantation if it cannot be ascertained and guaranteed that those to be trained will not use their newly acquired knowledge for transplants based on organs from executed prisoners or any other transplant related crime.”

“Given the body of evidence that the government of the People’s Republic of China stands alone in continuing to systematically support the procurement of organs or tissue from executed prisoners, submissions related to transplantation and involving either organs or tissue from human donors in the People’s Republic of China will not be accepted by ISHLT for the purposes listed above,” the authors wrote. “This policy, including whether other countries systematically engage in the use of organs or tissue from nonconsenting human donors and should be subject to this restriction, will be reviewed on an annual basis pending independently obtained proof that these practices have ceased.”

According to Jacob Lavee, MD, Professor of Surgery at Tel Aviv University and founder of the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Sheba Medical Center who was one of the authors of the ISHLT statement, the ISHLT position is unique in that it is the first and only medical organization to set such definitive limits on supporting China’s illicit transplantation practices.

In recommending that ISHLT members disengage from supporting China’s transplantation infrastructure, the organization has essentially exerted an academic boycott on those in China working in heart and lung transplants. In his interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Lavee noted that “doctors’ academic advancement is dependent upon their ability to publish in scientific journals and present at conferences. Now those possibilities are blocked to the Chinese and I hope that this pressure will bring about an end to the criminal use of the organs of condemned prisoners.”

ISHLT should be commended for its courage in publishing this vital statement. Every professional medical organization should be encouraged to take similar steps to disengage from China’s transplantation crimes.

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Co-Authors of Paper on China’s Dead Donor Rule Violations Reveal Critical Details

In our last edition of the DAFOH newsletter, we reported on a seminal paper containing data confirming the dead donor rule has been knowingly violated by transplant surgeons in China.

“Execution by organ procurement: Breaching the dead donor rule in China” was published in the American Transplant Journal on April 4, 2002 and was the first to confirm that doctors are helping the Chinese regime commit mass murder on an industrial scale. The paper was written by Matthew Robertson, a Ph.D. student in political science at the Australian National University in Canberra who has extensively researched China’s illicit transplantation practices and Jacob Lavee, MD, founder and former director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel and a Professor Emeritus of Surgery at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine.

In an expose in Tablet Magazine on June 27, the authors begin with Lavee’s introduction to China’s murder on demand system. In November 2005, Lavee was doing morning rounds at Sheba Medical Center when he had the following conversation with a patient suffering advanced heart failure, ‘“Doc, I’m fed up waiting here for nearly a year now while you guys find a heart donor. My insurance company told me to fly to China—they’ve already scheduled a heart transplant in two weeks.” After processing what he’d heard, Lavee responded, “Do you hear yourself? How can anyone promise you a donor heart on a specific date ahead of time? You understand that somebody must die on the very same day that you will undergo this surgery, don’t you?”’ The patient simply replied, ‘“I don’t know, Doc. That’s just what I was told.”’

The patient did in fact go to China to get his heart.

This short but potent exchange began what was to be nearly two decades of research and advocacy for Lavee. The authors write that “Within three years [after talking with this patient] he’d spearheaded the Organ Transplantation Law in Israel, the first of its kind in the world, which prevented insurance companies from reimbursing expenses associated with illicitly obtained organs. Along with a range of reforms encouraging domestic donation, this stopped the China-to-Israel organ trafficking pipeline in its tracks.

To gather data for their latest research, Robertson, who speaks fluent Chinese, and Lavee used computational text analysis and conducted a forensic review of a database with hundreds of thousands of papers written by organ transplant doctors in China.

The authors point to several incriminating statements by these surgeons, including admissions noting that the donors could not have possibly been brain dead before organ extraction.

For additional information on the authors’ research, please watch the China Revealed YouTube video “Surgeons declare healthy prisoners ‘brain dead’ before carving them up: Study concludes.”

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics: Chinese Physicians Explanting Organs from Living Patients

An analysis of Chinese medical journal articles found multiple reports of transplant operations in which the organ “donor” may have still been alive. The analysis, “Cases Abusing Brain Death Definition in Organ Procurement in China,” was published in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics and concluded that there is a need for “systematic investigation into organ donation from claimed brain-dead donors.” The authors, including DAFOH Advisory Board member Huige Li, MD, PhD, identified cases where the transplant procedures began with the intubation of a supposedly brain-dead donor, stating “the organ procurement procedures started with initiating ‘intratracheal intubation for mechanical ventilation after brain death,’ indicating that a brain death diagnosis was not performed.”

Two of the internationally recognized steps for determining brain death are checking for brainstem reflexes and conducting an apnea test. For both, the person must be on a ventilator before the tests are performed, and a ventilator requires intubation. An apnea test, which is part of China’s reported procedures for determining brain death, is conducted by removing a person from a ventilator to see if they can breathe independently. It would be impossible to perform this gold standard in determining brain death, without having first intubated the person to implement mechanical ventilation. Any transplant operation reported to have begun with intubation has clearly not come after an apnea test.

The peer-reviewed Cambridge University Press article also found two cases where the transplant procedure itself induced cardiac arrest without a prior brain death determination and stated, “the condition of these donors neither met the criteria of brain death nor that of cardiac death. In other words, the ‘donor organs’ may well have been procured in these cases from living human beings.”

A video from Spotlight on China expands on the topic of unethically sourced organs in China.

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DAFOH and AFN Present Online Nurses Summit on Organ Harvesting November 1, 2022

In joint collaboration, the Washington, D.C. based NGO, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting and The Academy of Forensic Nursing will host the first Nurses Summit to Combat and Prevent Forced Organ Harvesting on November 1, 2022.  Both organizations share a unified vision to protect and promote ethical medical and nursing practices worldwide.

Forensic nursing applies science and research best practices to public and legal proceedings, providing health care in the scientific investigation of trauma and death related to abuse, violence, criminal activity, liability, and accidents in any setting around the globe.

With the goal of advancing this mission and disseminating knowledge, this four-hour virtual event will highlight the crime of forced organ harvesting as a topic of great importance to the international nursing community.The Nurses Summit will feature over 12 nursing leaders, scholars, human rights experts, and eye witnesses who are passionate about raising awareness of this problem, preventing collusion, and seeing it come to an end. Speakers will discuss topics central to nursing science, ethics, and practice followed by a Q&A panel discussion.Nurses and all members of interdisciplinary teams should attend this webinar. This includes clinicians who collaborate to identify and support individuals who are organ donors or are pre- or post-organ transplant as well as those practicing and working in the organ transplant field in nursing, medicine, research pharmacology, and coordination of care. Nurses from many health care settings, such as emergency departments, primary, ambulatory, and community health centers may have the opportunity to identify, support, and care for individuals involved in organ transplant tourism abroad.

Participants will learn about the issue of unethical forced organ harvesting, its global extent and impact on the nursing profession, patient care, and humanity as a whole. The organizers of the summit hope that nurses will come to understand their role in leading and creating exemplary models of patient care that will lead to action being taken to end live forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China.

Register here.


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Brussels Conference Focuses on Forced Organ Harvesting

A conference focusing on forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was held at the Brussels Press Club on June 29th. The event was hosted by Gary Cartwright, editor of EU Today, a London based media organization.

This event invited panelists that included elected officials and human rights experts. Dignitaries present at the panel included Tomáš Zdechovský, a prominent Czech Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Nico Bijnens, president of Falun Gong Belgium, Carlos Iglesias, head of DAFOH’s legal team, Willy Fautre, founder and director of Brussels-based Human Rights Without Frontiers and Jiang Yan Hua, a Falun Gong practitioner who was imprisoned for seven years in China.

Among some of the most notable pieces of evidence presented at the conference was an audio clip of a revealing conversation between a U.S. based investigative journalist and a kidney transplant specialist at a Chinese hospital. The specialist, believing he was talking to a paying client, offered organs from donors as young as 15 years. The doctor confirmed the financial value of organs taken from Falun Gong practitioners due to their healthy lifestyle, stating that such organs cost “a little more.”

Witness testimony came from Zhang Yanhua, a Falun Gong practitioner who had suffered arrest, incarceration, and torture in China, and who had undergone constant medical tests to ascertain her suitability as an organ donor for a paying client.

Spanish lawyer Carlos Iglesias, head of the European legal team for the Universal Declaration on Combating & Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting, told the conference that the CCP is a “serial killer on a massive scale,” and that forced organ harvesting is “a crime against humanity - a real Genocide.”

Iglesias also presented a draft legislative proposal aimed at helping the 27 European Union member states to specifically criminalize organ harvesting, and to prosecute those involved in the trade. Delegates also discussed the possibility of criminalizing European citizens who travel to China in order to undergo organ transplantation.

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Illicit Organ Harvesting a Focus for “International Religious Freedom Summit” Members

Human rights advocates sought to make the forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners the focus when addressing human rights issues with China at the International Religious Freedom Summit 2022 in Washington from June 28–30.

The International Religious Freedom Summit is an annual event held in Washington DC to address the many forms of religious persecution. The event draws many former and current members of the U.S. government and members of NGOs who promote religious freedom around the world in places where it is suppressed.

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, the summit co-chair, former chair of the U.S. Committee on International Religious Freedom, and president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, spoke on the issue of forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in mainland China. She stated that medical schools are complicit in the crimes if they train Chinese physicians.

She also said that human rights are not an internal matter for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Lord David Alton from the British House of Lords also called the practice outrageous and said that he, together with his colleagues from all party lines, have been working on legislation to bring in greater penalties for anyone involved in organ harvesting.

Many members called for greater pressure on the Chinese regime to end the horrific practice.

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Hudson Institute at the 2022 IRFS: “China’s Forced Organ Harvesting Continues”

During the 2022 International Religious Freedom Summit, the Hudson Institute hosted an in-person breakout session on June 30th entitled “China’s Forced Organ Harvesting Continues,” which included Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Nury Turkel, investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann, and Falun Dafa Information Center Executive Director Levi Browde. On the same day, the Institute also aired a virtual event which included DAFOH Mental Health Advisor and Board Member Jessica D. Russo, Psy.D. Both events were moderated by Nina Shea, Senior Fellow and Director of the institute’s Center for Religious Freedom who called the Chinese Communist Party’s forced organ harvesting crimes the “monetization of persecution.”

Dr. Russo told the story of the first public report of forced organ harvesting in China when a nurse came forward in March of 2006 disclosing that her husband, a transplant surgeon in China, had extracted corneas from 2000 living Falun Gong practitioners who were killed during the procedure. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Russo explained that the surgeon himself was exhibiting PTSD and extreme remorse for his actions.

At the time, Falun Gong practitioners were being imprisoned in massive numbers. Mr. Browde explained that at the start of the persecution of Falun Gong, then head of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin had given an order to destroy them financially, destroy their reputation and destroy them physically. Mr. Browde summed up forced organ harvesting as a “billion-dollar industry” to implement Zemin’s order for physical destruction while making a huge profit in the process and he pointed out that the exponential rise in transplant numbers at the start of the 21st century correlate exactly to the rise in the numbers of Falun Gong practitioners incarcerated in China’s prisons and labor camps.

The panel discussed how forced organ harvesting continues to this day, in large part because of support and cooperation from the Western transplant community, including significant involvement with U.S. institutions and companies. Previously, the Hudson Institute had decried that “the U.S. government takes Beijing’s denials of such reports at face value, while the American transplant sector collaborates freely with China in trainings, educational exchanges, research, publications, conferences, and other partnerships.”

In addressing Beijing’s denials, Mr. Gutmann explained that shortly after China had declared that it would cease using prisoners’ organs for transplant in 2015, he and colleagues released their research in 2016 showing that China’s transplant volume far exceeded the 10,000 per year it was reporting. They found that the number was between 60,000-100,000 transplants per year, putting it at around twice the volume of transplants done in the U.S., making China’s industry the largest in the world. He noted that in one hospital alone, 8,000 transplants were done each year and that there were transplant hospitals in every province. “This is what they build on Falun Gong organs,” said Mr. Gutmann.

In response to the 2016 research exposing China’s volume of transplants, China’s transplant industry released new statistics on voluntary organ donation. Mr. Gutmann stated that those statistics were completely fabricated and cited research done by Matthew Robertson and Jacob Lavee that showed how the donation statistics were all based on a single equation that produces a parabolic curve. Guttman said the chances of this happening naturally are a million to one and “you would only do this if you were trying to cover up something. Presumably you wouldn’t do this with a successful voluntary donation program.”

Ms. Shea marveled that though the Western transplant community spends extensive time, money, and research on solving the organ shortage problem, “they never seem to ask the Chinese how they do it. How do these hospitals have an unlimited supply, or such an enormous yield from their donor registry?”

There is a tremendous conflict of interest between U.S. medical institutions and China’s transplant industry. Mr. Browde explained that while some transplant doctors are horrified by the reports of forced organ harvesting they do not want to believe it due to the big stain it creates on their field. He asserted that others are driven by the monetary conflict of interest and fear losing the financial benefit of partnerships with Chinese institutions or the income from Chinese exchange students.

Mr. Turkel asserted that forced organ harvesting continues because there have been no consequences and no one has been held accountable for the known crimes. A complete ban on all contact with the Chinese transplant industry is what Gutmann described as “the only answer” and “where we want to be at this point.”

A Falun Gong practitioner was in the audience whose father had been imprisoned in China for his beliefs. She had shared in a video aired during the International Religious Freedom Summit, that though her father was a healthy man he was pronounced dead shortly after being imprisoned. When she viewed his body, she found that his torso had been cut open from top to bottom and sown shut, evidence of forced organ harvesting. She addressed those gathered at the breakout session stating, “many Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs like my father. Forced organ harvesting is still happening in China. Please help stop it.”

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The IREF Publishes a Wake-Up Call to the West About China’s Transplant Abuses

The Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues, a Paris-based think tank composed of academicians and business people, published an article on July 4 titled “Organ harvesting in China or the criminal business of a dictatorship.”

The authors began (translated from the French), “While China is often praised for its rise in the ranking of world powers or its technological and economic (epidemiological?) prowess, few make the effort to examine the danger posed by the doctrine communist advocated by the Chinese State and the immense disaster produced by this regime on a population at attention.”

They then described the ample evidence that has been amassed by independent investigators since 2009 and pointed out how the Chinese transplant industry grew exponentially after 2000 in the absence of a voluntary donation system and offers wait times for organs of just days to weeks.

The authors ask the obvious question that few in the West seems interested in answering: Where do all the organs used for transplant operations in China come from? “The answer to this question is chilling,” the authors replied. “The spectacular growth of transplants since 1999 is indeed concomitant with the massive and brutal repression, by the authorities, of the followers of Falun Gong, a practice of meditation based on traditions of health and personal development.”

The article concluded with the following statement: “The international community is silent. No doubt it is time for Western worshipers of Chinese power to open their eyes to the reality of this deadly communist ideology.”

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DAFOH Deputy Director Interviewed on Epoch TV Crossroads Show

On July 20, 2022, the 23rd anniversary of the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, Epoch TV’s show Crossroads aired the story “Organ Harvesting and Torture: Exposing the Chinese Regime’s 23-Year Persecution Campaign.”

DAFOH’s Deputy Director Dr. G. Weldon Gilcrease joined the host, Joshua Philipp, to explain how the Chinese regime orchestrated a countrywide system of forced organ harvesting. Dr. Gilcrease noted that this horrendous practice began in the military hospitals and has been met with little resistance both inside and outside of China, in large part because of state run propaganda, which has served to dehumanize and demonize Falun Gong practitioners. He pointed out that ever since the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, there has been an exponential increase in transplant surgeries across China.

Dr. Gilcrease explained that Falun Gong is a life cultivation method of mind and body rooted in traditional Chinese Buddhist and Taoist thought that is centered around the basic tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. This is antithetical to the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign of smashing the Four Olds (Old Ideas, Old Culture, Old Customs, and Old Habits) that was initiated in 1966 to destroy thousands of years of Chinese culture. Falun Gong became so popular among the Chinese people, he added, because its teachings resonate with traditional Chinese cultural values.

Dr. Gilcrease said it is very difficult in this country to determine where patients have actually obtained organs. While this is concerning, he noted that what is more troubling is that Chinese surgeons have been trained in transplant techniques in the West, including many prominent medical teaching centers in the United States.

Complicity of U.S. institutions who continue to collaborate with Chinese hospitals and doctors is highly problematic given the preponderance of evidence of live forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China, Dr. Gilcrease argued. We need to protect our medical institutions from being complicit in crimes against humanity, he said, and U.S. hospitals which are collaborating with their Chinese counterparts need to disengage immediately to end complicity with illegal and unethical practices.

Both Philipp and Dr. Gilcrease agreed that forced organ harvesting is the worst example of a totalitarian regime devaluing human life and using the medical profession to eliminate a large segment of their own population.

When asked what viewers could do to help, Dr. Gilcrease urged them to learn more at dafoh.org, to tell all the medical professionals they know about organ harvesting in China, and to ask their legislators to support House Bill 6319 Falun Protection Act which, if passed, will take strong steps toward ending U.S. collusion with China’s genocide.

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Former Japanese Gang Leader Exposes Forced Organ Harvesting in China

Forced live organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China is once again in the spotlight, as former Japanese gang leader Ushio Sugawara has stepped forward to reveal a harrowing tale.

Sugawara, former leader in the Japanese criminal organization Ymaguchi-gumi, currently a Japanese economic commentator, tells how a friend’s brother flew to Beijing in 2007 for what was supposed to be a life-saving liver transplant.

After learning that no liver was available in the United States or France, two of the handful of countries offering liver transplants at that time, a Chinese medical tourism broker told the family that they could come to China “anytime” for the transplant, at the cost of 30 million yen (approximately $255,000).

However, Sugawara found himself entangled in the situation when he was asked to smuggle more suitable albumin, which was needed for the transplant, into China from Japan. He successfully did so with the assistance of the Chinese hospital and authorities.

After arriving, Sugawara went to visit his friend’s brother the day prior to the scheduled surgery, and was shocked at what he discovered.

According to Bollyinside, Sugawara recounted how “Chinese surgeons forcefully anesthetized a young man after cutting his tendons in order to prevent him from fleeing, and proceeded to then carve out his liver in an organ harvesting operation.”

During the visit, the surgeon offered to show Sugawara who the organ would come from. As he looked on in surprise, Sugawara asked who the young man was who lay motionless on a table, bandages over his severed tendons. The doctor initially said he was a death row prisoner, but when pressed further, he revealed that the 21-year old was a member of Falun Gong, and would “die anyway.”

The surgeon told Sugawara that they had cut the man’s tendons the day prior, in part to keep him from fleeing. “No doctor who follows the medical oath would do that. If they can cut tendons, they can also remove organs without consent. It is a ‘medical barbarism,'” Sugawara told The Epoch Times.

Ultimately, the surgery failed and the patient, along with the Falun Gong “donor” died.

When asked whether Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials were involved in forced organ harvesting, Sugawara told The Epoch Times, “Of course they are. They said that without the support of the CCP officials, internal organ transplants would not be possible, and many things could not be handled.”

In what’s believed to be a billion-dollar-a-year industry, Sugawara’s account adds to the extensive database of evidence that the Chinese Communist Party continues to harvest organs from prisoners of conscience, with their main target being Falun Gong practitioners. In fact, Chinese authorities have recently bragged that their thriving transplant industry will soon rival that of other countries.

Saguwara is still haunted by what took place. “This incident is really cruel, I still feel cruel about it now. It costs about $220,000 and kills two lives, which is bad for anyone.”

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Short Waits for Vital Organs at Wuhan Union Hospital

A teacher at China’s Lanzhou University, who suffered a severe heart attack and developed heart failure, recently received a heart transplant after waiting on the transplant list for just four days. The surgery took place at the Wuhan Union Hospital, which is affiliated with the Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

This patient in China waited only four days for a donor heart. In the United States, the waiting period for a heart transplant can be anywhere from six months to several years with many patients dying before suitable organs become available.

In June 2020, Sun Lingling, a 24-year-old Chinese woman became ill with a severe autoimmune heart disease while abroad in Japan. She was flown back to China and admitted to the Wuhan Union Hospital where four different hearts were found for her within thirteen days. Sun lives on with a new heart but the four ‘donors’ died.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, DAFOH’s Executive Director Dr. Torsten Trey said such an unprecedented short wait for four donor hearts should be cause for international alarm and called Sun’s case “beyond explanation… rather [it] follows an ‘on-demand system.’”

The Wuhan Union Hospital is not the only transplant center in China that has procured donor hearts rapidly. In January 2022, the Cardiovascular Hospital affiliated with Xiamen University found a donor heart in just over one hour to perform an emergency heart transplant on a 57-year-old patient.

Although China has never provided credible sources for its organ donors, multiple international investigations have found that the Chinese regime has been forcibly harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.

In March 2020, the UK-based China Tribunal issued its final judgment that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.”

Evidence gathered over the last 16 years has clearly demonstrated that the Chinese communist regime keeps healthy individuals incarcerated to be used as a non-voluntary organ donor pool. There are detailed accounts of Falun Gong practitioners formerly detained in China who underwent extensive medical testing consistent with organ health evaluations.

How is it that vital organs are so rapidly available on-demand in Chinese hospitals? The only logical answer is that the Chinese state has developed a well-organized nationwide detention system where a pool of human beings is kept waiting, ready for their organs to be harvested on demand.

The world has known about China’s transplant crimes for years and yet has done very little to ensure that it will stop. At what point do we hold China accountable for these abominable transplant crimes and horrific human rights abuses?

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Leading Forensic Nurse Increases Awareness of Organ Harvesting Crimes

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Associate Professor and forensic nurse Dr. Kathleen Thimsen was interviewed on the topic of forced organ harvesting in China by Joe Gaccione of the Vital Views podcast of the UNLV School of Nursing.

Dr. Thimsen said the most pronounced and well publicized example of forced organ harvesting occurs in China. Under direction of then-head of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin, the Chinese government launched a nationwide infrastructure of murder for organs and “actually makes quite a bit of money from it.”

She believes that “awareness of the practice is the first step” in helping to end this crime and that the Academy of Forensic Nursing is really trying to advance this. She added that the “second [step] is to educate our patients and our colleagues who are medical practitioners here in the United States” about forced organ harvesting from living human beings.

Dr. Thimsen detailed the horrors of what is actually happening in operating rooms across China. “There are two types of sedation that are given to patients undergoing any kind of surgical procedure. One is to paralyze the body and second is to give them a medication… [s]o they're not aware of what's happening. In the case of these victims of forced organ harvesting in China, where it's been publicized, and there has been a lot of medical practitioners from the US and across the world, who have actually witnessed these procedures, these patients are paralyzed, so they cannot move, but they are awake, they are not given any medication for awareness or sedation, from that respect, and as a result of that, they can see and know what's coming next. As your body undergoes a situation of preparing for flight or fight that causes a perfusion of your circulatory supply to your vital organs, your lungs, your heart, your brain. These organ donors are aware of what is going to happen to them and the fact that the organs that are taken have such a vast increase in the amount of blood flow, that they're healthier as a result of the that flight or fight syndrome and the increased amount of circulation to those organs. So, the rejection rate potentially could be lower because of the high perfusion rate of the blood.”

Dr. Thimsen has been a program planner for and will speak at the Nurses Summit to Combat and Prevent Forced Organ Harvesting, a joint collaboration between the Academy of Forensic Nursing and Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting being held on November 1, 2022.

The Summit will present the “epidemiology of and the data that supports the need for advocacy and policy related to forced organ harvesting” and discuss the human rights violation from ethical and legal perspectives. It will also touch on “prevention and education of consumers, as well as our healthcare colleagues in nursing and other medical specialties.”

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News in Review


ISHLT revises policy to include ban on all Chinese transplant research submissions

In a June public statement, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation instituted a ban on all transplant research submissions from mainland China. This policy prohibits publication of articles in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation and presentations at ISHLT’s annual meetings. Professor Dr. Jacob Lavee, Israeli transplant surgeon, member of ISHLT’s ethics committee and DAFOH’s advisory board, told The Epoch Times, “The new policy is, in effect, a full academic boycott on any transplant-related clinical research from China” and reflects ISHLT’s “desire to distance itself and its members from this atrocious transplant conduct.” The new policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Taiwan hospital severs ties with doctors who conducted organ harvesting in China

A Taiwan hospital announced on June 17th that it would not renew its employment contracts with two doctors who performed organ transplant surgeries in mainland China without reporting the procedures to the hospital. The hospital’s statement on their decision notes that China is illegally harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners and others prisoners of conscience and that the two doctors have conducted multiple organ transplant surgeries in China. The doctors have gone against the rules for transparent and traceable organ sources, the statement reads, and may have violated medical ethics.

Hudson Institute interviews experts on China’s forced organ harvesting practices

At a virtual event by the conservative think tank Hudson Institute on June 30, Dr. Jessica Russo, DAFOH board member and Nury Turkel, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, offered their perspectives on China’s forced organ harvesting crimes against Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs. Russo opined that Western complacency and engagement with China was helping to fuel this crime. Turkel noted that the Chinese government is commercializing its organs by marketing to Muslims around the world through advertising “halal” organs, i.e., organs from people who didn’t drink alcohol, eat pork, or do anything forbidden by Islam.

Former CIA analyst offers misguided and dangerous take on Western engagement with China

Retired CIA analyst for East Asia Paul Heer, now a distinguished fellow at The Center for the National Interest, recently published an article titled “Engagement with China Has Not Failed: It just hasn’t succeeded yet.” As noted by The Washington Times, Heer makes only one mention of the Chinese government’s countless crimes against its own people, that of the rampage on students at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Despite China’s escalating restrictions and suppression of its own citizens, as well its hostility towards the West, Heer claims that engagement with China has helped to create a more “liberal, tolerant China.” Such extreme denial of China’s atrocities will only help to fuel China’s mass murder through forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, human rights violations against the Uyghurs, and other crimes against humanity.

The Conversation highlights key points in China’s illegal transplant practices

“Killing Prisoners for Transplants,” an article written by McMaster University professors Ali Iqbal, a transplant nephrologist and Aliya Khan of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Geriatrics, co-authored by Susie Hughes, Executive Director of End Transplant Abuse in China, details several major pieces of evidence and international responses to China’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, and other prisoners of conscience. The authors urge the international medical community to speak out about these crimes, avoid collaboration where transparency or organ source cannot be guaranteed, and encourage voluntary organ donation.

400 million relinquish their affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

The Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, also known as “Tuidang,” announced on Aug. 3 that the number of Chinese people who have renounced ties to the CCP and its affiliated organizations had reached 400 million. Tuidang began in 2004 after The Epoch Times published the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” an expose on the history of the CCP and its crimes against its own citizens. Noted among those crimes is the mass murder of innocent prisoners of conscience through forced organ harvesting. Tuidang is one of the largest grassroots movements in the world.

CCP exports forced organ harvesting to nations in Southeast Asia

Due to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the crime of organ harvesting in mainland China has become rampant throughout Southeast Asia, according to YouTube channel China Revealed. The report states that an organ price list from Cambodia and circulated throughout Southeast Asia was posted on the internet in mid-August, and Southeast Asia is said to have ‘“sufficient supply”’ of these vital organs. The report notes that NTD news has determined that most of this organ trafficking is run by criminal groups from China with close ties to CCP officials.

Experts claim China’s forced organ harvesting demands U.S. response

Two authorities on religious freedom, Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute and Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, have published an article in RealClearPolitics on the urgency of a U.S. response to China’s forced organ harvesting practices. The authors note that despite strong evidence of the Chinese government’s mass murder through transplantation, neither the U.S. federal government nor the medical establishment has taken a definitive stand against this crime. Instead, many in the U.S. have supported and even praised Chinese officials for their contributions in the transplantation field.

Grassroots activist calls attention to forced organ harvesting

Mitchell Nicholas Gerber, a contributor for Stoporganharvesting.org, detailed evidence of China’s transplantation crimes against Falun Gong practitioners on the Health Ranger Report with Mike Adams. During the interview, Gerber played an audio recording of Edward McMIllan Scott, a British politician and the last and longest-serving UK Vice-President of the European Parliament (2004-2014) with the Human Rights and Democracy portfolio, speaking about the atrocities being committed against the Falun Gong in China.  Gerber uses McMillian’s defense of Falun Gong’s peaceful nature to argue for the exposure of the genocide being committed by the Chinese government.

China criticizes Italy's media for its report on forced organ harvesting

An article exposing China's industrial-scale and inhumane practice of organ harvesting was published in the Italian weekly magazine Panorama on August 24. On August 28, China’s Embassy in Italy offered a formal condemnation of the article, claiming that China’s transplantation industry is both ethical and legal and only uses organs from voluntary donors. The Chinese government has continued to state, as it did in its formal denouncement of the Panorama article, that forced organ harvesting is a rumor instigated by the Falun Gong community and other so called “anti-Chinese” organizations to fuel a racist (Sinophobia) agenda.



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Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) aims to provide the medical community and society with objective findings of unethical and illegal organ harvesting. Organ harvesting, the removal of organs from a donor, without free and voluntary consent, is considered a crime against humanity, as well as a threat to the integrity of medical science in general. This edition of our newsletter offers up-to-date information on international efforts to stop unethical organ harvesting.

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