Czech Medical Chamber warns medical community in Czech Republic: 42,000 Czech physicians given update on unethical organ procurement in China
The Czech Medical Chamber (CMC) published an article in their peer reviewed journal, Tempus Medicorum (April 2015, p.20-21), by EU Policy Advisor Lukáš Pfauser, informing the medical community about violations concerning China’s unethical practice of forced organ harvesting. Based in Prague, the CMC is a non-political autonomous professional organization responsible for the interests, professionalism, ethics and honor of the Czech medical profession. The law prescribes obligatory membership in the Chamber for all 42,000 physicians practicing in the Czech Republic.
The Chinese government, writes Pfauser, began using executed prisoners in 1984, but is now committing an even greater offense – killing prisoners of conscience to procure organs on demand for transplantation.
Mr. Pfauser’s article highlights evidence involving the practice of forced organ harvesting in China and reviews expert reports from Israeli transplant surgeon Dr. Jacob Lavee and others. The article describes the ethical standards against taking prisoner’s organs from the guiding bodies in organ procurement: the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, WHO, WMA and the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group.
Pfauser warned readers that improvements in China’s current transplant system are not evident and cites the recently announced changes by former Vice Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu, that prisoners would no longer be targeted for their organs, but could donate as regular “citizens,” a definition and directive that is in violation of global ethical standards. In addition, Pfauser questioned China’s recent offer to ship excess organs to Taiwan, while a reported 300,000 Chinese citizens await transplants on the mainland.
Widespread action this spring involving 14 countries in the EU working against collusion with forced organ harvesting has created a ripple effect throughout Europe as countries demand protective legislation. Czech doctors also signed a petition three years ago calling for an end of the practice in China. While the article elaborated on the situation in China, the Czech Medical Chamber denounces all unethical medical transplantation occurring around the globe.