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Promoting Ethics in Medicine

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Letter from the Editor, Ann F. Corson MD

For over a decade, DAFOH has been exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) unethical organ transplantation practices that have evolved from using convicted criminals’ organs to monetizing the bodies of innocent prisoners of conscience in order to exponentially grow a profitable transplant industry.

In this first newsletter of the new decade, we report on how various disciplines are coming to recognize that the real nature of the CCP can no longer be overlooked. An overwhelming cry for disengagement is coming from physicians, human rights advocates and politicians, as well as military, business and academic leaders, who are realizing that what independent researchers have been reporting about China's organ transplant industry for over a decade is indeed true.

The CCP’s inadequate handling of the devastating new coronavirus outbreak has demonstrated to the world how the Chinese regime’s first priority is to maintain its own political power and control rather than address the real needs of its own people. In a recent opinion piece in The Hill, Joseph Bosco writes, "Within China proper, all religious groups endure deepening oppression. The Falun Gong spiritual movement has been targeted for a special crime against humanity: industrial scale, live organ harvesting that exceeds even the murderous efficiency of the Nazis."

Is the sacrificing of moral and ethical values worth the short term gains attained by pleasing China's one-party regime? We should remind ourselves that by standing up for the basic human rights of the Chinese people, particularly innocent prisoners of conscience, we not only help them, but also ourselves. Kowtowing to a totalitarian government that silences voices warning of a deadly viral outbreak and uses prisoners of conscience as organ sources does not portent a bright future for humanity.

We, at DAFOH, applaud the growing chorus of voices from around the world calling for all to stand up for what is ethically and morally correct over profit and prestige.

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The UN Human Rights Council Under Scrutiny After Whistleblower Sounds Alarm

In the fall of 2019, UN whistleblower Emma Reilly drew attention to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) when she wrote a letter to members of the United States Congress alleging that the office had aided the Chinese government in monitoring dissidents and their families by disclosing their personal information.

According to the whistleblower and other sources, some family members of the dissidents whose names were revealed have faced persecution and in some cases, died while in detention.

A spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Council stated “I hope to put…this distortion, I would say, to rest. Under no circumstances the Office of the High Commissioner divulged names of human rights defenders coming to the council.”

Ms. Reilly has suffered retaliation over a period of seven years for exposing how the UNHRC, an international body dedicated to human rights, was implicated in violating the human rights of dissidents who came to the Council for help.

Between 2012 and 2018, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) conducted an international petition calling upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to help end the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. During the 6-year petition campaign, more than 3 million people from over 50 countries and regions around the world signed the petition. On three different occasions, delegations from DAFOH met with representatives of the OHCHR to hand-deliver signed petitions. Despite our persistent efforts in presenting a petition larger than any other ever previously received, the UNHRC has yet to officially respond.

Our own experience, the experience of Ms. Reilly, and those of prior UN whistleblowers indicate there appears to be a China-protective attitude within the UNHRC. By choosing to align with and safeguard China’s interests over its own chartered purpose of protecting human rights, the UNHRC appears negligent in its duty to all the citizens of UN member states.

The UNHRC’s lack of action was challenged on 24th September, 2019, when China Tribunal counsel Mr. Hamid Sabi addressed the Council with a summary of the tribunal’s judgment stating that “forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience including the religious and ethnic minorities of Falun Gong and Uyghurs has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, and that it continues today. This involves hundreds of thousands of victims.”

It is DAOFH’s hope that those UNHRC council members who have learned the truth about forced organ harvesting by the Chinese regime will uphold their responsibilities to preserve and protect human rights and religious freedom in China and around the world.

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Europe Increases Efforts to Combat Illegal Organ Transplant Tourism

Council of Europe:

On January 9, 2020, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development released its Organ Transplant Tourism Report with a warning for all member states to “exercise particular caution when co-operating with the China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS) and the Red Cross Society of China, in view of a recent study casting doubt on the credibility of China’s organ transplant reform.” The recent BMC Medical Ethics study provides evidence of systematic manipulation and falsification of official government transplantation databases in China.

The Committee reports that, despite China’s claims to the contrary, evidence suggests transplant tourism to China has not been eradicated. Critics suspect “China is transplanting many more organs than it officially wants to acknowledge and that prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners, and other minority groups such as Uighur Muslims, Tibetans and Christians” are being held as a living organ donor bank, ready to be killed on-demand for their organs.

Unfortunately, the report identifies many Western countries as origins of transplant tourists who continue to provide demand for the organ transplant tourism market. In order to effectively combat global transplant tourism, the authors feel that criminalizing transplant tourism alone is not the answer.

Rather, a holistic approach, such as that taken over a decade ago by Israel, should be used to both halt and prevent organ transplant tourism. This would involve not only criminalizing involvement in transplant tourism, but also increasing the numbers of organs donated with informed and voluntary consent, closing the gap between supply and demand, with the goal of each nation becoming self-sufficient in both organ donation and transplantation.

Additionally, the report suggests all member states “develop and implement population-based prevention strategies to prevent (and treat) organ failure in the first place,” stressing that “transplant oversight should be improved through intergovernmental efforts, in Europe and globally.”

United Kingdom:

On January 28, 2020, the United Kingdom’s House of Lords heard the first reading of the Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill “to amend the Human Tissue Act 2004 concerning consent to activities done for the purpose of transplantation outside the United Kingdom and consent for imported cadavers on display.”

The bill would prohibit UK persons from traveling abroad “for the purpose of organ transplantation when the organ donor has not provided free, informed and specific consent,” while rendering it a criminal offense to receive unethically procured organs whether or not the recipient is aware of organ procurement details.

Additionally, the bill would require detailed medical records be kept for all UK persons receiving organs abroad as well as an annual tracking report by the NHS Blood and Transplant of UK citizens who have undergone transplant procedures outside the UK.

The NHS Blood and Transplant would also be required to produce an annual report on imported bodies on display, ensuring that the foreign cadavers were obtained using the same consent requirements as those sourced from the UK.

Czech Republic:

Parliamentarians in the Czech Republic continue to express serious concerns about organ harvesting in China.

MP Helena Langšádlová said, “Be it Falun Gong followers, Christians, Uighurs, Tibetans and others. The forms of human rights violations in China are really horrific. Organ removal, executions, persecution. It is good for us to remember that it is China we are doing business with.”

“Organ removal and human rights violations are not abstract words. Behind these terms there are specific people whose organs have been monetized, and their families do not even know where the remains of their bodies are,” said MP Olga Richterová.

Czech lawmakers are proposing an amendment to the Transplant Act to address organ transplant practices in China that would criminalize obtaining organs from involuntary donors. They are also calling on the “Czech government to clearly state which countries have problems with trafficking in organs, so that it makes it much more difficult to obtain an organ in that country.”

Health Europa reporting:

In December, 2019, Stephanie Price of Health Europa reported on research published by the Institute to Research the Crimes of Communism entitled the Economics Of Organ Harvesting In China that demonstrates how several prominent Western companies are ‘taking part’ in China’s organ harvesting crimes, including businesses based in the Unites States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Becky Brickwood of Health Europa Quarterly published a series of articles about China’s unethical transplant industry in January and February of 2020.

Co-founder of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting and leading Israeli heart transplant surgeon, Professor Jacob Lavee, was interviewed about unethical organ transplantation in China. Dr. Lavee, director of the largest heart transplant unit in Israel, was senior author on the recently published BMC Medical Ethics statistical analysis, which claims most of China’s official transplant data “is absolutely fraud.”

Dr. Lavee first learned about organ harvesting on demand in China from a patient in 2005 and was subsequently instrumental in the enactment of the 2008 organ transplant law passed by the Israeli parliament which banned its citizens from participating in transplant tourism and greatly increased the country’s voluntarily organ donation rates. Israel was cited as a successful, holistic example of how to combat organ transplant tourism in the January 2020 organ transplant report from the Council of Europe’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.

“Blocking or banning transplant tourism is one of the major measures that the West can take against the forced organ harvesting which takes place in China. How can a surgeon in his right mind kill an innocent human being in order to harvest organs and transplant these organs into another person? This is beyond understanding,” Dr. Lavee said.

Health Europa Quarterly also  interviewed Australian bioethicist, Professor Wendy Rogers, who spoke about the ethical responsibilities of physicians and academics. Rogers first learned of organ harvesting from the 2015 documentary film Hard to Believe, and then from reading Gutmann’s 2013 book The Slaughter, and Matas and Kilgour’s 2008 book Bloody Harvest.

Rogers said the intent to commit genocide against religious minorities exist within the Chinese government. When positing the question, “How can Chinese doctors remove organs from living people causing death?” she described how, “It is completely normalized [in China]. There has been such a programme of brutalisation against the Falun Gong practitioners, and now against the Uyghurs, that they’re not really considered human, they’re considered enemies of the state.”

Rogers’ efforts have had a positive effect in the academic community. Since she and co-authors published an article in the BMJ Open questioning organ sourcing in 445 previously published Chinese research papers, demanding their retraction, PLOS ONE and Transplantation have retracted a total of 27 papers.

Two subsequent articles tell the stories of Falun Gong practitioners who survived unimaginable torture during years of illegal incarceration for their spiritual beliefs. Dai Ying, a Falun Gong practitioner from Shenzhen, was “tortured, force fed and subjected to medical exams which she suspects to have been a precursor to forced organ harvesting.” Another Falun Gong practitioner, Zhang Yanhua, describes enduring torture and brainwashing during seven years of imprisonment in northern China.

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The Book Stealth War Reveals Deeper Insights About Forced Organ Harvesting in China

The 2019 book Stealth War by retired Brigadier General Robert Spalding, former member of the National Security Council, is a thorough analysis of efforts by the People’s Republic of China to gain global influence and presents a holistic view of how methods used to gain influence over an enemy are not limited to the use of military force, but can be expanded to other areas of society, including the media, telecommunications, business, education and research. By presenting the various methods China has implemented to influence and control the West, the author provides readers with profound insights into China’s intentions and actions. Stealth War paves a path for us to intercept, deflect, and reverse the Chinese Communist Party's influences. The establishment of transparency and communication of true data is the key to dismantle stealth activities, including the forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

Stealth War can also be interpreted as a response to “Unrestricted Warfare,” a military manifesto of the People’s Liberation Army. Although seemingly unrelated to medical ethics and forced organ harvesting, the observations and analyses of events described by Brigadier General Spalding can help us understand the mechanisms that led to the forced harvesting of organs from Chinese prisoners of conscience. Additionally, these insights might enable us to respond to and take action against China’s transplant abuse.

The book’s title describes the characteristics of concealed actions that relate to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War where a battle, or any other objective, should be won without a fight. Although not mentioned in the book, the title also describes China’s practice of forced organ harvesting that occurs in secret, with hundreds of thousands of people who were medically examined while in detention subsequently disappearing without a trace. The title is also a reminder that we should not dismiss the existence of forced organ harvesting just because it is concealed by the CCP. Irrefutable evidence and testimonies tell us it truly exists.

In the absence of an ethical organ donation program and with the pretense of a recently fabricated donation program, China has been able to achieve its objective of performing hundreds of thousands of transplants over the past two decades. An academic paper published in June 2018, Cold Genocide: Falun Gong in China, introduced a new understanding that can be described as one of the objectives of the stealth war being conducted by China, the slow-moving eradication of the once mainstream spiritual practice Falun Gong. Since 1999, the former president, Jiang Zemin, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have framed the group as an enemy of the party state in a persecution or war against them. The CCP leads not only a public, but also a covert campaign against Falun Gong, weaponizing the transplant profession in China in order to secretly eliminate its adherents.

Stealth War provides examples of CCP attempts to gain influence over foreign organizations, politicians and scientists. One such is China’s “Thousand Talents” program, a campaign where leaders in their field are put on China’s payroll under the banner of academic exchange. In the case of unethical, forced organ harvesting, there were times where leaders in the transplant field and of medical organizations appeared to lower their threshold for scrutiny regarding concerns about China. In 2016, China invited a selected group of doctors and organizations to visit transplant hospitals, however, the inspections were staged. Critics were not invited and questions about the use of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience as organ sources were not addressed.

Independent monitoring of China’s organ donation numbers revealed sudden increases of 25,000 organ donors within one day on December 31, 2015. Again, in the last week of December 2016, more than 88,000 organ donors were apparently added to the organ donation program. In 2017, China reported to have more than 5,000 organ donors coming from its pool of almost 400,000 registered donors. To put this into perspective, the donors-per-registered-donors rate, 5,146 donors/375,000 registered donors, was about 140 times larger than the comparable rate observed in either the United States or United Kingdom. A forensic statistical analysis of China’s organ donor numbers published at the end of 2019 concludes that the CCP regime’s official donor numbers appear to be fabricated.

It should be the obligation of the medical profession to review such serious allegations of medical ethics violations and examine whether officially reported transplant number have been manipulated or not, yet it was an international Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China that reviewed all the existing evidence and conducted two hearings on testimonies collected from witnesses and experts. The Tribunal concluded that forced organ harvesting from prisoners has taken place “on a substantial scale by state-supported or approved organizations and individuals” and that there is no indication that these practices have stopped.

Stealth War provides insights that might explain why the medical profession at-large has not investigated organ transplant abuse in China. The author recounts witnessing an event where business professionals were divided over how to deal with China. Surprisingly, some of them seemed willing to sacrifice the greater good of the United States in exchange for short-term profits.

It is well known that China has violated several of the WHO Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue and Organ Transplantation. Yet the medical community is divided in their response to China, with some sacrificing scrutiny for unchecked hopes of reforms while turning a blind eye to unethical practices. If engagement with China has indeed delivered measurable and verifiable changes, China should be happy to accommodate unannounced, independent international inspections of its transplant industry. Otherwise, we must ask whether some in the international medical community, while hoping to help reform of China’s transplant practices, may have inadvertently enabled China’s secret warfare.

In Stealth War, Spalding writes, “China seeks to portray itself as law-abiding and just.” But, on January 18, 2017, the Financial Times article "China's top judge denounces idea of judicial independence" by Lucy Hornby quoted Supreme People's Court President Zhou Qiang, saying “the Chinese Communist Party is formally above the Constitution.” In such a judicial environment, forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, although considered criminal throughout the international community, could be considered legal in China if the CCP orders it done. The entirety of Stealth War conveys how the Chinese regime will exploit any and all facets of Chinese society to solidify its own influence and control.

Any good-will gesture to trust the People’s Republic of China’s judicial system without scrutiny is misplaced in the context of transplant medicine.  Those Chinese citizens who did becoming involuntary organ donors had no rights. The medical community should be reminded that it is the ethical care of our patients, and in the case of transplant medicine, the ethicality of organ donation and procurement, that is our highest vocation.

When it comes to forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, it is not only China’s medical ethics that are under scrutiny. The ethical standards of medicine for the entire world are also called into question. Investigators have concluded that China has killed more than a million prisoners for their organs over the past 20 years. How many more Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience will be organ harvested before meaningful, independent, international action against transplant abuses in China is initiated?

Stealth War reiterates insights about China’s intellectual property theft and covert actions to gain knowledge from Western countries. It should therefore be noted that China has developed its transplant knowledge with the help of medical schools and professional journals from the West. Within two decades, and with the access to an abundance of unethically procured organs, China has now become a world leader in transplantation medicine with plans to dominate the discipline in the near future.

China’s strategy, revealed in Stealth War, to “win the battle without a fight,” has been used to take control of all aspects of Western society. Subsidized workers and currency manipulation allow China to outcompete any other country. The book describes how China hacked into a U.S. company’s computer system to gain access to its customer base, then proceeded to steal customers away and after crippling sales, offered to buy the weakened company. If members of the medical profession, who might be part of China’s “Thousand Talents” program, agree to any proposed open commercial transplant tourism, China will offer transplants within two weeks, like a commodity, to patients around the world. Transplant numbers in Western countries would decrease, reducing the ability of Western hospitals to sustain profitable transplant wards in their own countries. Stealth War does not talk about forced organ harvesting or any undermining of the global transplant market, but it lays out the same strategy and approach that should alert us to this as a real possibility.

Stealth War elaborates on how China controls regulations and uses them to their own advantage. International companies have invested billions of dollars in China despite being forcing to partner with Chinese companies, to reveal their proprietary technologies, and even to have a communist cadre on their boards. International companies are also prohibited from moving their profits outside of China. Business in China is a one-way street as money earned in China must stay in China, forcing foreign companies to reinvest.

How is this related to transplant medicine? China sends tens of thousands of students to the U.S. to receive medical training and its scientists and physicians participate in transplant conferences in the West and write articles for Western transplant journals. China earns billions of dollars from Western transplant tourists yet it does not allow independent scrutiny of its organ donation program or transplant statistics and refuses to allow independent investigative teams to inspect its transplant centers. China blocks transparency by covering up the number of transplants performed at individual transplant centers and by publishing only an annual transplant number for the entire country. China takes advantage of the international transplant community while at the same time deflecting scrutiny.

In Stealth War, Spalding writes, “American politicians who attempt to counter pro-CCP rivals will find themselves fighting against operatives who are bought and paid for, as the CCP uses its limitless cash to influence policies in Washington, DC.” Another example of influence peddling he describes is how, “more than 350,000 Chinese students were enrolled in U.S. universities in 2017.” This means about one third of all international students in the United States come from China. This translates into more than 10 billion dollars “pumped into the US higher education system.” This is the price tag, or bribe, that China has used to influence U.S. universities and medical schools, preventing them from hosting forums about the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. As soon as plans for such forums are circulated, Confucius Institutes, the Trojan horses of Chinese embassies, complain to institution leadership, pressuring them to block or cancel the events. The stifling of free speech on American campuses about transplant abuse in China is the antithesis of the Unites States Constitution’s First Amendment on Religion and Expression, and seriously erodes the teaching of ethical standards by example.

Stealth War illustrates the scope of the machinery that China deploys to undermine ethical values and institutions in the West which are the same mechanisms that have led to a cold genocide of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

It is up to us whether or not we lose the Stealth War that China has imposed upon us. If we want to win this battle of ethics, as Sun Tzu says “without a fight,” we simply need to raise awareness of forced organ harvesting and demand transplant transparency. A call for the end of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China is, in reality, a call for upholding our own ethical values.

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U.S. CECC and State Department Recommend Action Against China’s Human Rights and Religious Freedom Violations

The 2019 Annual Report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), an independent agency of the U.S. government tasked with monitoring human rights and the rule of law in China, contains findings that are cause for concern.

After reviewing the latest information, the CECC has determined that China’s violation of human rights, including religious freedom, has worsened over the last year and that the rule of law has deteriorated further. The Commission states, “officials have escalated the repression of religious practice, which one scholar of Chinese politics has characterized as being the worst since the Cultural Revolution,” a time of mass beatings, torture and murder perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

The CECC references Mingui.org’s reports on the persecution of Falun Gong in China, noting that in 2018 alone, at least 931 practitioners were illegally sentenced to prison and at least 69 Falun Gong practitioners died as a result of persecution.

A number of human rights organizations, as well as practitioners themselves, have documented brutal and violent acts against those who practice Falun Gong, “including physical violence, forced drug administration, sleep deprivation, and other forms of torture,” the report states.

The Commission’s results have been submitted for review to both the U.S. President and Congress.  As human rights violations worsen, it is recommended that sanctions and visa restrictions, among other measures, be imposed in an effort to stop China’s criminal activity. According to Minghui.org, an updated list of perpetrators, which includes over 100,000 names, was provided to the U.S. and other countries in November 2019. Several visas have already been denied for some of those known to be involved in the persecution of Falun Gong.

The U.S. Department of State issued a press statement on December 20, 2019 entitled United States Takes Action Against Violators of Religious Freedom which states, “We believe that everyone, everywhere, at all times, should have the right to live according to the dictates of their conscience. We will continue to challenge state and non-state entities that seek to infringe upon those fundamental rights and to ensure they are held to account for their actions.”

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Report Finds Many Western Companies Are Profiting from China’s Forced Organ Harvesting Practices

A new report published by the Institute to Research the Crimes of Communism (IRCC) has revealed that up to 28 companies headquartered in Western nations have been providing materials, drugs and devices that have supported the development of China’s transplantation infrastructure.

The Economics of Organ Harvesting in China: The Part of the Companies and Doctors in Democratic Countries in the Illegal Organ Harvesting in China, authored by Pavel Porubiak and Lukas Kudlacek and published in November of 2019, states that many of these companies who are supplying a wide range of knowledge and materials for transplantation procedures, including organ preservation, immunosuppressive drugs, transplant diagnostic, medical robotics, transplant diagnostics and other services and products, have been doing this for the last 20 years. Furthermore, the authors note, most, if not all, are likely aware of the facts and evidence related to illegal organ harvesting by the Chinese government.

The revenue generated from supporting China’s transplantation infrastructure for these Western companies, Porubiak and Kudlacek assessed, has reached into billions of USD each year over the last decade.

The IRCC report references a study by the Sweden Council for Business and Investments which revealed that China is heavily dependent on imported Western medical equipment, particularly with respect to organ perfusion products. In 2019, 92% of the medical equipment in China came from overseas. In addition, the companies which supply China with transplantation materials are supporting not only transplantation procedures for Chinese citizens but also for patients from at least 20 countries and regions in the world who travel to China in hopes for a quick transplant with a healthy organ.

Porubiak and Kudlacek used a scoping study methodology, drawn from the research of Davis, Drey and Gould to reach their conclusions, using a number of different internet keyword searches to locate and identify corporations that could be operating in the field of organ transplant or could be directly profiting from it. They then researched companies’ respective product offerings to determine whether or not they would be useful for transplantation and whether their products were being sold to China, while calculating what revenues were generated from the sales of these products. The authors found that many companies were headquartered in the U.S. and several in Europe.

According to an article on the IRCC report in the Byline Times, Porubiak and Kudlacek contacted every company listed to request comments on the allegations, but only one had yet replied.

Byline referenced a 2013 University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business paper which questioned the ethical actions of Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG, which is included on the IRCC list. The paper, entitled Roche’s Clinical Trials with Organs from Prisoners: Does Profit Trump Morality, examines how the company conducted clinical trials with organs taken from executed prisoners. CEO Franz Humer is noted in the paper as praising China for its “openness” towards organ transplantation, unlike other countries which employ greater scrutiny or scorn when assessing ethical standards in transplantation.

In 2010, Byline states, “Roche was given two ’Shame Awards‘ from the Swiss-based corporate responsibility watchdog Berne Declaration and Greenpeace. In 2018, it derived 7.9% of its total revenue from China, equating to more than $5 billion. Byline Times has approached Roche for comment.”

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Australian Bioethicist Wendy Rogers Named in Top Ten People Who Mattered in 2019

Among Nature magazine’s “Ten people who mattered in science in 2019” is Professor Wendy Rogers of the Departments of Clinical Medicine and Philosophy at Macquarie University, Australia and Chair of the International Advisory Board for the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China.

Rogers’ activist work against the Chinese government’s campaign of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has had a significant global impact and helped in the development of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s guidelines for organ and tissue donation.

In her conversation with journalist Becky Brickwood from Health Europa Quarterly, Rogers stated, “The more I looked into it, the more I found that there was a lot of evidence that organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience does occur and the Chinese provided no evidence that would reassure you that things are happening ethically there.”

After finding errors in one academic paper that had published organ transplant data from China, Rogers formed a research team to conduct a thorough investigation into thousands of academic papers suspected to contain similar errors and/or potentially dishonest data reporting. Rogers’ team discovered hundreds of papers published between 2001 and 2017 reporting on over 85,000 transplants that misreported the source of organs procured for transplantation. Their findings, published in the BMJ Open, has since resulted in more than two dozen papers being retracted after authors either failed to respond to Rogers’ criticisms or were unable to prove that donors gave consent.

Rogers maintains that the Chinese surgeons who procure transplants from Falun Gong practitioners are most likely aware of who they are killing, but believe that their actions are justified. She points out that the Chinese government propaganda has established Falun Gong and other minority groups as enemies of the people, demonizing them in the eyes of society, therefore the surgeons are able to rationalize and consequently continue participating in acts of murder.

When asked by Brickwood if there was anything else Professor Rogers felt readers should know about forced organ harvesting in China, she replied, “If people actually look at that material then they can understand what’s actually happening, and they should know that it is not at all safe to go to China for a transplant because it is absolutely likely that the organ you get will come from someone [who has been] killed to give you that organ.”

photo credit: Chris Stacey, Macquarie University

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Calls to Disengage from China on Ethical Grounds

Calls to disengage from China on ethical grounds are coming from the fields of medicine, education, business and politics.

At the November 2019 Edelstam Foundation seminar in Sweden, Uyghur surgeon Dr. Enver Tohti Bughda told participants how in 1995, he was ordered to remove the liver and kidneys of a man whose heart was still beating. Urging the West to act, Dr. Bughda said, “Stop teaching Chinese students medicine. Stop cooperating with Chinese medical society. Refuse to accept medical articles by Chinese surgeons. By doing this, the world will let the Chinese doctor know that what you are doing is wrong.”

Another speaker was physician Benjamin Kong, a Falun Gong practitioner who, while imprisoned for his belief in a Chinese labor camp, was given a comprehensive, organ-based medical examination. “It included an ECG,” Kong said, “I know because I’m a doctor myself. They were checking all my organs. At the time I was thinking, we’ve been through so much torture because of them. They don’t even treat us as humans. Why, all of a sudden, do they care about our health and give us physical exams? And I didn’t even get the exam results.”

The Edelstam Foundation is named after Swedish diplomat Harald Edelstam (1913-1989) who helped hundreds of Jewish people escape from Nazi Germany during World War II.

In mid-December, Health Europa reported on the recently released Economics Of Organ Harvesting In China, which for the first time, named 20 global companies that apparently profit from China’s transplant industry. Innocent people, incarcerated for religious or political beliefs in China, die in hospitals across the nation as a direct result of the government’s state-sanctioned forced live organ harvesting.

International human rights attorney, David Matas, who testified at last year’s China Tribunal, said, “The report [Economics of Organ Harvesting in China] sets out compelling evidence that several multinational companies are complicit in transplant abuse in China where prisoners of conscience are killed for their organs.”

After marveling at the beauty and artistry amid themes of hope and freedom displayed by Shen Yun Performing Arts in a December performance in Ottawa, Canada, Graeme Barber, MD, retired vascular surgeon and member of the Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, said, “After several years of research, I concluded that there is little information about this [organ harvesting] crime for two reasons: First, it is so evil it is essentially unbelievable. Second, it would be impossible for any respectable country to engage in any way with such an evil government if the respectable country truly believed what was happening.”

China sends more students to the United States than any other nation in the world. China is a leading destination for American students studying abroad. After the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, several U.S. educational institutions imposed travel restrictions for their Chinese students as well as for their academic and research branch campuses in mainland China. Highly respected American icons of higher education have close partnerships with and branch campuses at institutions across China, including Wuhan University.

Some businesses continue to focus only on the profit potential of China’s transplant market rather than investigating its ethics. Available for purchase on the internet is the January 2020 market trend and outlook analysis for the immunosuppressant drugs used in organ transplantation. The analysis claims to focus on “technological platforms, tools and methodologies” to boost industry performance, offering sales strategies to rapidly obtain new clients. The report purports to “present company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2014-2019 market shares” for “international and Chinese major industry players in detail, including the “Global and Chinese total market of Organ Transplant Immunosuppressant Drugs industry including capacity, production, production value, cost/profit, supply/demand and Chinese import/export.”

GOP Senators have called on American colleges and universities to accurately report donations from foreign entities, especially those from the Chinese government-controlled Confucius Institutes (CI). Presently, there are approximately 500 CI classrooms in the United States. “This is about transparency,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, “If colleges and universities are accepting foreign money and gifts, their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know how much and from whom. Moreover, it’s what the law requires. Unfortunately, the more we dig, the more we find that too many are underreporting or not reporting at all.”

On January 23, 2020, Jan Jekielek of The Epoch Times American Thought Leaders interviewed retired Air Force General Robert Spalding who described how American financial institutions “push equities/bonds onto U.S. investors, including retirement fund, academic endowment, and institutional investors, knowing very well that the CCP is the most important constituency for those companies” and that the “CCP has no fiduciary responsibility to shareholders.” He added that U.S. investment banks are “investing in companies that support concentration camps and forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience.”

On February 15, 2020, U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper, while speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, named China’s regime as the “Pentagon’s top concern” due to Beijing’s aggressive commercial and military postures. He warned, “we should take the Chinese government at its word,” citing Beijing’s ambition to have a fully modernized military by 2035 and be the most powerful military in Asia by 2049. Mr. Esper said, the world needs to “wake up to the challenges” posed by the Chinese Communist Party.

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News in Review

“How everyone ignored the crime of the century”

This article provides an impactful overview of the methods and findings of the China Tribunal and questions why the findings have not received more media attention “despite the magnitude of the crimes described and the prestige of the Tribunal’s panel.” Calling it the greatest crime of the 21st century, the article exposes the culpability of those who have known about the 20 year-long crime of forced organ harvesting in China, but have done nothing.

French think tank explores ongoing crimes against humanity in China

The French-speaking citizen think tank Mr Mondialisation provides a thorough history of the persecution of Falun Gong and the ongoing forced organ harvesting crimes against humanity. They conclude that though the sheer volume and duration of the persecution is undisputed and international pressure to stem it have increased, the economic hold China has over the West prevents any real action to stop it.

Chinese graduate student believes he escaped organ harvesting in labor camp

Labor camp survivor Liu Jintao believes he was a possible candidate for forced organ harvesting. In one incident, prison guards ordered the man beating Liu not to damage his organs. Although Liu was repeatably beaten, starved, sleep deprived and tortured, diagnostic X-rays and blood tests were performed on him.  Eventually, Liu was able to escape with his family to Australia.

Chinese surgeon speaks to Chinese Epoch Times about possible forced organ harvesting

When recalling a 2011 liver transplant at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Zhong describes unusual events, such as police officers being present, that implied illicit activity. “I believe that the donor was in the operating room next door,” Zhong said, adding, “Normally, the hospital won’t perform a cornea transplant operation at the same time as a liver transplant. But that night, the transplant operations were done in parallel with each other. It’s very strange.”

Canadian Jewish News: We must speak up for the victims of organ transplants

After presenting a concise and accurate summary of China’s persecution and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience, Norman Epstein says, “Given the painful Jewish legacy of persecution and genocide, we should join forces with other like-minded groups and speak up for these voiceless victims. Otherwise, pure, unadulterated evil will continue to triumph as good people do nothing.”

Benedict Rogers: “An atlas of agony: the persecution of minorities today”

“The atlas of agony is a thick volume,” wrote Rogers in Adamah, an online media focusing on cultural, social and spiritual issues. He bemoans that “[t]hat basic foundational right – Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – is under threat in every corner of the world.” Wherever “a political ideology takes hold of a religion and replaces its spiritual values… with an agenda of control and domination,” the freedom of religious minorities such as Falun Gong, Muslims, and Christians are in danger.

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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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