Concluding Statement at the International Conference on Medical Safety in Organ Transplantation on February 28, 2013 in Taipei


On February 28, 2013, doctors and lawyers discussed developments in transplantation medicine at the International Conference on Medical Safety in Organ Transplantation Abroad and Trends in Global Legislation in Taipei, Taiwan.

Among the panelists were Dr. Ghazali Ahmad, Dr. Jacob Lavee, Dr. Jianchao Xu, David Matas and David Kilgour. The conference ended with the following Concluding Statement:


This Conference concludes:


Given that

1. Respecting and defending life, health, safety, dignity and freedom of humanity are universal values, regardless of national boundaries, gender, race, colour, religious beliefs and ethnic groups.

2. In order to safeguard the universal values of justice, equality and safety as well as the right to life, any acts which

a) violate medical ethics or the standards prescribed by international human rights conventions or

b) impair and infringe upon the life and health of humanity in general and Taiwanese nationals in particular,

should be prohibited by law.

3. Trafficking in human organs violates medical ethics and international human rights standards adopted by the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the World Medical Association, the Transplantation Society and other international organizations.

4. The practices in mainland China of forced organ harvesting from death row inmates and prisoners of conscience, predominantly Falun Gong practitioners, and organ trafficking for transplants are matters of profound concern to the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament and the legislature in Taiwan.

5. According to statistics from the Department of Health, Government of Taiwan, 88 per cent of the Taiwanese who underwent organ transplants overseas travelled to mainland China.  Yet, in mainland China, organ sourcing violates international principles of transparency and traceability.  The sources are mostly either death row inmates or prisoners of conscience whose organs are sold and then forcibly harvested while they are still alive.

6. The government of Taiwan should pay serious attention to Taiwanese nationals who are involved in illegal or unethical cross border transplantation and transplant tourism.


We recommend that the Taiwanese Government and Parliament:

1. Make every effort to increase organ donation among Taiwanese nationals so as to establish national self-sufficiency in the provision of human organs for transplantation.

2. Enact or amend legislation to prohibit cross border knowing complicity in forced organ harvesting for transplants and to prohibit the use of organs from executed prisoners both within and outside the borders of Taiwan

a) with reference to the relevant legislation of other countries, including extraterritorial legislation,

b)  in accordance with the principles and proposals prescribed by

i) the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism,

ii) the guiding principles and resolutions on human organ transplantation adopted by World Health Organization and the Transplantation Society.

3. Promote laws and regulations prohibiting cross border organ trade and organ brokerage.

4. Keep Taiwanese nationals informed that forced organ harvesting violates international law, morality, national laws and medical ethics.

5. Advise Taiwanese nationals against travelling for organ transplantation to countries which condone trade in human organs and extraction of organs from illicit sources.