Call upon International Community to Stay Alert on China’s Organ Sourcing

After China’s announcement in Dec 2014 to end the organ harvesting from executed prisoners by Jan 2015, many international bodies started to believe that the organ procurement practice in China would change, resulting in the situation where they have let their guards down. Another contributing factor for this lack of alertness was the newly presented public organ donation program that has been set up in record speed. In 2015, China claimed that the 3 year old public organ donation program generated more than 12,000 organs from more than 2,500 organ donors. It is unprecedented in the history of transplant programs in other countries that a public organ donation program is able to yield so many organs within such a short period of time. These developments should alert us.

In this context, a broader level of information and international attention is needed. News reports discuss downplaying evidence of detention camps in China. Human rights experts in the U.S. State Department cited that an extensive network of extrajudicial detention centers remain where torture and forced labor are commonplace.

If detention and labor camps in China continue secretly, then there is also a high risk that those secret camps are used to harvest organs from prisoners of conscience. The international and medical community should stay alert and request further scrutiny.

A phone conversation with a Chinese doctor, as reported by WOIPFG, adds another dimension to the underreported transplant abuse. Upon being asked on the phone, the doctor on duty at the Department of Cardiac Transplantation, Central Hospital of Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, stated repeatedly that they harvested “countless” organs from Falun Gong practitioners.

Caller: How many organs have you harvested from Falun Gong practitioners?
Doctor: Countless. I tell you, countless.
Caller: Are you sure they are countless?
Doctor: Countless. Countless, I frankly tell you, countless!
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Up to date, there is no verification that China has indeed ended the decade-long forced organ harvesting from all prisoners, but instead there is persisent evidence that China continues the abusive organ harvesting practice secretly.

If “countless” lives are at stake, letting the guards down would be inexcusable. As long as the persecution of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience, Tibetans, Uighurs and Christians continues, and detention camps are maintained secretly, there is plausible reason to assume, that the forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience continues and might even be the explanation for the fast onset of China’s so-called public organ donation program. The secretive, non-transparent situation of detention camps and organ procurement practices is alarming.