Promoting Ethics in Medicine

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Letter from the Editor: Ann F. Corson, MD - Celebrating Truth Teller Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

DAFOH has long exposed China’s unethical and illegal transplant practices. The live forced organ harvesting of non-consenting prisoners of conscience is a means of commoditizing before destroying those deemed undesirable by the communist regime. China’s lucrative transplant industry has grown exponentially in parallel with the suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement though victims also include Tibetan Buddhists, House Christians, and Uighurs Muslims.

Over the years, DAFOH has met with many challenges while exposing the truth about organ harvesting including incredulity from those in the medical and political realms who are in positions to be catalysts for change. Therefore, we appreciate those who aim, like us, to report the truth in the face of obstacles and adversity.

Our newsletter has repeatedly honored the investigative truth tellers who have spent years exposing China’s state-sanctioned crimes. We also wish to honor those truth tellers who, no matter the cost, have upheld ethical values, not shied away from wherever the truth has led them, and forbore ridicule and censorship by the press, ostracism by colleagues, and criticism from friends and family.

Attorney and advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is one such individual. As the son of U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, standing for truth and justice seems his birthright.

As President of Waterkeeper Alliance, Mr. Kennedy has successfully litigated against industry polluters to ensure that waterways worldwide become ‘drinkable, fishable, and swimmable.’

His organization Children’s Health Defense, is a courageous champion in exposing and combating the many causes of the tsunami of crippling chronic illnesses affecting the health of our nation’s children, which seriously jeopardizes the future of our society.

Mr. Kennedy has successfully litigated against the unethical and illegal activities of ‘Big Pharma,’ ‘Big Energy,’ ‘Big Food,’ ‘Big Tech,’ and ‘Big Chemical.’  He has consistently and objectively examined the science and facts surrounding each issue and exposed the capture by industry interests of U.S. regulatory agencies and their complete failure to serve and protect the American people.

Mr. Kennedy has a clear and astute understanding of American history and a profound commitment to the preservation of democracy and the civil liberties set forth and stipulated by our founding fathers.

In November 2020, on the eve of the anniversary of the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy gave an insightful interview to a gathering of health freedom advocates in Copenhagen who were strategizing ways to maintain human rights on a global basis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

He described how the draconian pandemic control measures and censorship instituted in lockstep around the world have resulted in the erosion and loss of civil liberties as well as the commoditization, dehumanization, fractionation, and economic destruction of huge numbers of people while further enriching the world’s financial elites. These tactics are eerily similar to those used by the Chinese regime in its cover up of corrupt transplant practices, including lack of transparency, manipulation of perception with lies and propaganda, and falsification of data.

In the January 2021 Opinion: Distortion and Censorship of Scientific Methods Bring Harm to Society, DAFOH concluded that “the hallmark of ethical science is the acceptance of differing opinions with tolerance and civility without fear of open and honest discussion. Ignoring scientific methods, statistics, and logic derived from acquired knowledge foments chaos and confusion. Such tactics have enabled the CCP to create circumstances that have allowed it to thrive and pursue its stealth infiltration of other countries. The silencing and censoring of dissenting voices reflect biases that are antithetical to the wellbeing of human society.”

At the end of his Copenhagen speech, Mr. Kennedy passionately called for a return to a true democratic process with due process of law, open debate, objectivity, rationality, and a proportionate response. He asked that all different countries and cultures come together now “to be a force of love, reconciliation, and freedom.”

DAFOH wishes to thank Mr. Kennedy for his devotion to truth, his deep compassion for humanity, and his forbearance in overcoming obstacles and tragedies in order to dedicate his life to the service of others.

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Worldwide Conference on the CCP’s Forced Organ Harvesting Held Online

On February 25th a web based conference, prepared by 115 organizations and co-hosted by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse (ETAC) and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, brought together experts, legislators, and various civil organizations from all over the world to discuss the state of organ harvesting in Communist China.

Key note speaker Sir Geoffry Nice, who oversaw a peoples tribunal regarding forced organ harvesting in China, presented an overview of that tribunal and of a future tribunal for the genocide of Uighurs. He outlined the obligations of human rights bodies in the historical context of the time after World War II.

Dr. Wendy Rogers, Professor of Clinical Ethics at Macquarie University in Sydney and member of ETAC, spoke on the industrial scale of forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and outlined the ethical obligations for stopping these abuses. She stated that institutions now have clear knowledge of the abuse and must end cooperation with any CCP transplant doctors.

Journalist and author Ethan Gutmann outlined the logistics of organ harvesting from Uighurs with extensive photographs of incinerators, airports, and hospitals, coincident with huge increases in organ transplants being performed in hospitals near Uighur labor camps.

Dr. Sean Lin, who served in the U.S. military medical service corps and survived the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, pointed out that the CCP continues to expand organ harvesting in spite of increased scrutiny from the international community.

Human rights lawyer David Matas explored whether law has a role in ending organ harvesting in China and how that could be manifested.

Kristina Olney of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation spoke on recent legislation in the United States that focuses on organ harvesting.

The remaining portion of the webinar was devoted to individual legislators from around the world who discussed their countries’ legislative activities with respect to forced organ harvesting.

The participants took questions at the end.

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U.S. Legislators Call for Action Against China’s Organ Harvesting Crimes

On December 21, 2020 the U.S. issued additional visa restrictions targeting Chinese officials who have directly engaged in human rights abuses such as restricting freedom of religion and freedom of speech. “China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association and the right to peaceful assembly,” said then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country.” The Trump administration imposed these restrictions under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Frederick County, Virginia unanimously adopted a resolution condemning forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China on January 27, 2021. Before the resolution was adopted, Shawnee District Supervisor David D. Stegmaier said, “I think it’s of use to all members of the Frederick County community to know what is involved in doing business of that kind with China.” Introduced by Supervisor Shawn L. Graber, the resolution is meant to ensure that county residents are “fully informed of the organ source in China before they make the decision to engage in organ tourism in China,” lest they “unwittingly become accomplices in state-sponsored forced organ harvesting.” Copies of the resolution will be passed to the county’s representative to the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia delegation to the U.S. Congress.

On February 11, 2021 the Tennessee General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 92 and referred it to the Senate Finance Ways & Means Committee. Representative Bryan Terry, MD introduced the resolution which raises awareness about the Chinese government’s unethical practice of forced harvesting of organs from prisoners. Tennessee’s WGNS News Radio reported that Rep. Terry hopes that the resolution will help end China’s brutal crimes and prevent unaware patients from his state who are in need of transplants from inadvertently becoming accomplices to forced organ harvesting by accepting illegally and unethically sourced organs.

Prince William County, Virginia District Supervisor Yesli Vega issued a proclamation warning county residents about the risks of traveling to China for organs so they do not unwittingly becoming accomplices to the Chinese government’s practice of harvesting organs from political prisoners. The proclamation was drafted after supervisory members from the County met with adherents of Falun Gong on February 15, 2021 to discuss the practice of Falun Gong and how it is being persecuted.

On March 3, 2021 in neighboring Loudoun County, Virginia, the County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution expressing support for the Falun Gong spiritual movement and condemning the Chinese Communist Party for killing its practitioners for their organs. Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall said, “When you harm people anywhere, it harms all of us. Anywhere someone is harmed. humanity as a whole is harmed.”

On March 10, 2021 U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware), along with Representatives Chris Smith (R-New Jersey), Tom Suozzi (D-New York), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri) introduced bicameral, bipartisan legislation called the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act to “combat the unethical and criminal practice of harvesting organs often from minority groups and other vulnerable victims.” The bill is identified as S. 602 in the Senate and H.R. 1592 in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Smith said, “Our legislation would empower the U.S. State Department to identify and expose organ harvesters and traffickers across the world with the goal of punishing perpetrators through effective sanctions and travel restrictions.”

Several independent researchers contributed to this initiative by the U.S. Congress including the London based China Tribunal, the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China headquartered in Australia, and the Washington, D.C. based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

David Matas

Human Rights Lawyer David Matas Receives Global Humanitarian Leader of the Year Award

International human rights lawyer David Matas has been awarded the first-ever Global Humanitarian Leader of the Year award. Established by the human rights group Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need (CSRDN), the award recognizes those who uphold the principles of integrity, peace, justice, and mercy.

The Canadian-based lawyer is co-founder of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), and along with former Edmonton MP David Kilgour, received a 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his report exposing forced organ harvesting from practitioners of the spiritual practice Falun Gong in China.

In an ETAC press release, Dr. Aliya Khan, co-chair of CSRDN, was quoted, “We want to recognize David’s tremendous contributions to saving lives and justice by speaking out against the horrific crimes of forced organ harvesting in China. Killing people for their organs is a most cruel and barbaric practice and must be stopped.”

During his distinguished career, Matas has worked tirelessly to combat human rights abuses around the globe. Thanks to his work and others, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was created to name and sanction individuals known to be involved in human rights violations.

The Epoch Times notes that the Magnitsky Act was first used in the United States in 2020. To date, six Chinese officials have been banned from the United States, including Huang Yuanxiong, a police chief who interrogated and abused Falun Gong practitioners.

According to reports, the forced killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience has been taking place on an industrial scale since 2001. With their crimes having gone largely unchecked by the international community, the Chinese Communist Party has become increasingly emboldened, and now persecutes additional groups, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, and House Christians.

Matas urges, “I would encourage people to get informed, get involved.”


Obscuration by CCP About Pandemic Parallels Its Denial and Coverup of FOH

Last May, DAFOH published a statement, Unmasking the COVID-19 Pandemic, discussing how by delaying information, silencing whistleblowers, and allowing international travel while restricting domestic travel, the Chinese government covered up the truth about the Wuhan virus outbreak and enabled it to spread globally to an unsuspecting world.

In October 2020, The Epoch Times obtained a series of leaked documents which revealed that patients with COVID-like symptoms were seen in Wuhan hospitals as early as September 2019. The newly formed Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response has criticized the Chinese regime for not publicly acknowledging that the virus was contagious until January 20, 2020. This was several weeks after Taiwan had warned the World Health Organization (WHO) of the risk of human-to-human transmission.

The WHO has been widely criticized for not declaring a global pandemic until March 2020. The Federalist wrote a year ago that China’s “near-total takeover” of the WHO was the reason for its repeated “issuing of inaccurate and bad advice” and that this malfeasance resulted directly from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “deliberate buying out” of WHO leadership.

In addition to silencing whistleblowers, the CCP also blocked information about the virus on all news and social media. Despite China’s obfuscation of the truth, the WHO consistently praised the CCP for its “transparency” and “leadership.” Yet, when a WHO team was finally allowed into China to conduct investigations into the source of the Wuhan virus, the CCP refused to provide crucial pandemic data.

The same lack of transparency, coverup and obscuration of data is evident in China’s transplant system. A leaked report exposed “systematic malpractice” in transplant data and organ allocation.  For instance, organs were registered into the China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS) after the transplants had already taken place. DAFOH Executive Director Dr. Torsten Trey said, “This could be a strong hint that organs are harvested on demand” and “because thousands of organs appear to have bypassed the allocation process, the entire system can’t be trusted.”

The report also detailed falsification of medical data. Both donor and recipient information had been altered right before surgery, and new recipients were added to waiting lists just before they were rolled into the transplant surgery suite. Additionally, five hospitals that were not authorized to conduct organ transplants had indeed performed them. Apparently, despite the global pandemic and the increased international attention on China’s organ transplant practices, Beijing appears to be continuing to expand its transplant industry.

DAFOH’s Unmasking the COVID-19 Pandemic describes how the CCP has long used a “deception protocol” to cover up actions that violate internationally accepted ethical standards. It then denies and hides those actions while spreading disinformation regarding them. Additionally, the Chinese regime profits from these acts that the world finds abhorrent. The deception protocol reveals that the CCP’s only interest is self-aggrandizement and self-preservation, regardless of the consequences that are often devastating to its citizens.


Leading Chinese Liver Transplant Surgeon Commits Suicide

Chinese doctor Zang Yunjin, age 57, reportedly committed suicide on February 26th by jumping off a tall building. Zang, a well-respected liver transplant surgeon, won many honors from the Chinese regime over the last 20 years. Every hospital where Zang worked has been specifically identified by investigators at the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong as being involved in the live forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.

The persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999 on the orders of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Very rapidly, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were illegally detained in detention centers, labor camps, and prisons. Organ harvesting of Falun Gong, also initiated by Zemin, then began increasing exponentially along with transplant surgeries throughout China.

With the assistance of the Chinese government, Zang studied transplant surgery in the United States at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from September 1999 to December 2000. He then returned to China to begin his illustrious career as a liver transplant specialist.

In 2000, Zang established a liver transplant program in Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital and helped create the Shandong Provincial Organ Transplant Center in 2001.

He participated in the extraction of 1,600 donor livers at the Tianjin First Central Hospital between 2004 and 2008. This same hospital was exposed by the 2017 Korean TV documentary for having organs available on demand for cash payment from transplant tourists. In addition, the documentary revealed that a larger cash payment resulted in expedited surgeries.

Zang also became deputy director of the Liver Transplantation Institute of the Beijing Armed Police General Hospital where he performed more than 1,000 liver transplants.

In 2014, Zang became head of the Organ Transplantation Center at the Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University where he oversaw transplant activities until his death.

No reason was given for his suicide.


News in Review

Witness Testimony of Forced Organ Harvesting in China

Lu Shuheng, a relative of Chinese surgeon Zhou Qing, disclosed horrific details about how detained Falun Gong practitioners are strapped down to have their vital organs removed without anesthesia. Zhou and her husband, Mao Shuping, told Lu the details when they tried to buy his help in securing U.S. transplant tourists. Mao had access to detained Falun Gong practitioners through his position at the Shanghai Justice Bureau, a promotion he gained through his support of Jiang Zemin’s nephew, Wu Zhiming, leader in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Shanghai.

UNHRC Complicit in CCP’s Human Rights Abuses

Leaked internal emails support the whistleblower testimony of UN human rights lawyer Emma Riley who said the UN Human Rights Council regularly supplied Chinese officials with the names of Chinese dissidents scheduled to present to the council. Though other governments have been denied such requests, UN policy, according to Riley, is to prioritize the relationship with China over the consequences to the persons named. The CCP is well known for silencing those vocal about its human rights abuses through arrest and torture, or in cases where activists were already safely outside of China, through threatening or kidnapping their families in the mainland.

Program About Forced Organ Harvesting Cancelled in UK

During a November 4th webinar, Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC, chair of the China Tribunal, revealed that a BBC show scheduled to broadcast on June 17, 2019, the day the Tribunal delivered its judgement, was canceled at the request of the UK government. Tribunal member Professor Martin Elliott stated that the request to pull the TV special, which included interviews of Nice, Israeli heart surgeon Jacob Lavee, MD and “witnesses,” came from the foreign office and expressed that he “was deeply shocked that the FCO could take that action, and pull something out of an apparently independent broadcasting organization.” The BBC said in an email to The Epoch Times that it was not aware of the program.

CCP Solidifies Control of Chinese Catholics as Vatican Stance Weakens

The CCP has ramped up its campaign to control Chinese Catholics through the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA). According to a 2020 agreement between the CCP and the Vatican, the Pope retained the right to name bishops in China. However, a new CCP directive privileges the CPCA with the sole authority to appoint bishops. Clergy who do not register with the CPCA are considered criminal and those who do register are subject to surveillance and control measures. In a move that upset many Catholics, Pope Francis has lifted the ban on priests and bishops joining the CPCA.

CCP Crimes Against Humanity May Surpass Those of Hitler  

Recalling the enormous number of people killed in Nazi Germany, as well as the evil medical experiments conducted, the article asserts that “for the persecuted Chinese minorities, the world has forgotten its ‘Never Again’ pledge.” Just as international companies were complicit during the holocaust, today, companies worldwide support the CCP by purchasing products made by forced labor, creating advanced surveillance technology used to suppress persecuted groups, and providing medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals for its organ transplant industry, a “billion-dollar annual transplant trade” based on the killing of Falun Gong practitioners. The article notes that members of this “peace loving group” are alive when their organs are harvested and asserts that the crimes of the CCP may “surpass those of the Third Reich.”

Causes of Transplant Tourism and Potential Responses

In “Transplant tourism: A ‘pervasive’ and dangerous ‘shadow world of medicine,’” Healio Infectious Disease News delves into the worldwide reality of illicit and illegal transplant practices fueled by transplant tourism. Identifying the cause as insufficient available organs in countries like the U.S. and Canada, combined with desperate patients with financial means, the article suggests physicians screen patients for the potential to engage in transplant tourism and to inform them of the risks, both medical and ethical. Mentioning China’s use of prisoners for organs, the article cites Professor Wendy Rogers’ study published in BMJ which found that 95.2% of transplant studies in China did not provide information on the sources of the organs used.

China Tribunal Panelist Martin Elliott Speaks to Health Europa About Findings

In November, Health Europa editor Stephanie Price spoke with China Tribunal panelist Professor Martin Elliott to discuss the implications of the Tribunal judgement for governments and the medical community. Elliot, lead panelist Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, and Tribunal lawyer Hamid Sabi discussed the Tribunal’s findings of forced organ harvesting in China with the UK Parliament’s newly formed China Research Group. “The global medical community has a moral responsibility to pressure China into great transparency to stop this from happening,” Elliot said. “It is internationally unacceptable – governments cannot duck these findings, and neither should the medical community.”

NGOs Call for Governments to Do More to Stop China’s Forced Organ Harvesting

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) and the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), held a webinar on February 24 to bring greater awareness to China’s transplantation crimes. “On the issue of forced organ harvesting, the international community has remained silent despite the evidence for far too long,” said Kristina Olney, director of government relations for VOC. “The United States and the rights-respecting nations of the world must confront the evidence of this horrific human rights abuse taking place in China today. This crime has no place in the 21st century.”

UK Lawmakers Address Issue of Consent on Human Tissues Procured Overseas

On February 11, 2021 an amendment to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill regarding consent for use of human tissues obtained from overseas became law. Proponents of the measure, which tackles only the use of human tissue in medicines, acknowledge that it is largely symbolic, but describe it as a small but important first step in the nation’s capacity to address potential complicity in overseas crimes. It is the first time UK lawmakers have enacted any legislation that addresses the issue of consent on human tissue from overseas.

Kilgour: All Nations with Magnitsky Laws Should Sanction Perpetrators of Organ Harvesting

In a Taipei Times editorial, David Kilgour describes evidence that the Uighur genocide in northwestern China likely includes forced organ harvesting. Noting that the China Tribunal chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice found that the majority of forced organ harvesting victims were Falun Gong practitioners, Kilgour explained that since 2017 “comprehensive DNA collection of everyone from Xinjiang’s Uighur community has created a large pool of potential donors” and urged that “all nations with Magnitsky laws should apply targeted sanctions against any Chinese government official known to be involved in organ harvesting.”

Canadian response to CCP genocide

Providing a deep dive into who the Uyghur people are and why Canada has labeled the Chinese campaign against them a genocide, this article urges consumers not to purchase products made by forced labor in China. An expert is quoted explaining that “adherents of all religions face restrictions, persecution and pressure to adhere to the party’s ideology. So even though the constitution says citizens enjoy freedom of religion … the [CCP] has really pushed to shape religions to conform to the doctrine of the party.” The article notes the CCP has denied all charges against it, including “harvesting organs from people in persecuted religious groups while they were still alive,” calling them a smear campaign by the west.

Mike Pompeo CPAC 2021 Interview on the State of U.S. Policy on China

In an American Thought Leaders interview at CPAC 2021, former Secretary of State Pompeo explained how the CCP has taken advantage of the US’s forty-year long position that engagement with China would yield improvements in its government’s behavior. Of the last four years, Pompeo said his office found undeniable evidence of the CCP’s infiltration into US industries, repression of religious minorities, and genocide. He asserted that the information uncovered means that “no one is going to deny that the CCP has hegemonic intent, wants to undermine democracies and rule of law all around the world, and that we have a responsibility to confront it.”

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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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