Worldwide there are different forms of organ theft reported. These cases have in common that they are scattered in various countries and regions. In some countries reports say that organs were removed from homeless people, in other cases those “donors” were offered a refund of a couple hundred dollars in exchange for a kidney donation. All of these cases are questionable and dubious. If these cases are related to living donors they are limited to donations of a second kidney.
However none of these documented reports about organ theft has ever aroused any suspicion that there would exist a nationwide, state sanctioned, systematic organ theft from living people. The extent of organ harvesting in China as described by witnesses, by publicly accessible data about transplantations in China and by the Kilgour & Matas Report is unprecedented. The data collected by Kilgour & Matas depicts a transplantation-on-demand-system. The latter carries the potential to enhance transplant tourism to China.
In contrast to the totalitarian regime in China most of the democratic governments of the affected countries that have encountered such forms of organ thefts have taken steps to stop these degenerated forms of organ supply.
Actions speak louder than words
Israel: The Knesset approved a new organ donation law in March 2008. The law determines, among other things, that brokering sales of organs, whether in Israel or overseas, is a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in jail. The new law followed unethical practices of an organ broker who mediated organs from China.
Taiwan: Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the governmental authority in charge of mainland China affairs, announced it will prohibit Chinese transplant surgeons from visiting Taiwan from now on and will review their entry application case by case. This is in response to Chinese doctors soliciting business of organ transplants from Taiwanese patients with assistance of Taiwanese doctors.
Israel: “Israel Arrests Men Who Mediated China Organ Transplants”
Four men accused of pocketing millions of dollars that patients had paid for organ transplants in Asia were arrested in Israel August 2007. The arrests followed months of investigation after the main suspect admitted to an Israeli newspaper that the organs were coming from Chinese death row inmates and prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong practitioners.
Israel: After several publications authored and initiated by Dr. Jacob Lavee a special hearing on the organ harvesting issue has been convened which resulted with an official condemnation of the Israeli Parliament of the atrocities in China. In addition the reimbursement of transplantation performed on Israelis in China (and countries which do not observe the ethical rules in organ donation) have been stopped.