The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
June 8, 2020
Re: COVID-19 and forced organ harvesting — Reasons to disengage from CCP
Dear Mr. President:
We write to you as members of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) to call to your attention one of the greatest medical atrocities of our time: the forced organ harvesting of living prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). We ask for your leadership to bring to the attention of the international community the seriousness of this fundamental violation of human rights.
There has been little doubt as to the PRC’s mishandling and dissemblance re the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, they cannot be trusted by their declarations that they would abide by ethical norms with regard to organ transplantation. DAFOH first alerted the international community to the PRC’s mass killing of living prisoners of conscience—for the purpose of forcibly harvesting their organs—14 years ago. Since the early 2000s Chinese doctors, under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), have removed organs primarily from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience on an industrial scale. Galvanized by the lucrative billion-dollar business through international organ tourism, the PRC now states that it will soon surpass the United States as the leading transplant country in the world, in spite of its significantly smaller organ donor program. Transplant medicine in the PRC is founded on unethical and criminal practices: forced organ harvesting. In March of this year, in the midst of the COVID outbreak, Chinese newspapers touted the emergency double lung transplant on a COVID patient whose matching donor lungs were procured within 2 days. Under rigid ethical guidelines the earliest time for a lung transplant requires at least 15 days in the U.S.A. There is no doubt that the PRC’s transplant medicine has been built on the blood and bodies of Falun Gong practitioners.
Chaired by former UN prosecutor Sir Geoffrey Nice, the China Tribunal, an independent people’s tribunal on forced organ harvesting in China, examined the accumulated evidence related to China’s forced organ harvesting practices and published its final judgment in March 2020, concluding that “in China, forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims,” stating that, “any who interact in any substantial way with the PRC, including doctors and medical institutions…should now recognize that they are…interacting with a criminal state.”
Peter Navarro, one of your economic advisors, produced the documentary “Death by China” in 2011 highlighting China’s transplant abuses as one of the main human rights atrocities in China. He pointed out how the West has ignored these through the failed policy of engagement with China.
In some cases, it was less a failed policy of engagement but rather a lack of committed actions that allowed the transplant abuse to occur in China for over two decades. The international transplant community has similarly attempted to adopt a policy of cooperation but to disastrous effects. Compounded by a lack of action to stop forced organ harvesting, the practice not only continues unabated, but evidence suggests it is expanding.
Although the World Health Organization has Guiding Principles on Human Organ Transplantation, it has failed to aggressively address the abuses of their own principles in the PRC. The principles violated include: the free donation of organs without any monetary payment or other reward; the transparency on organ donor sources; the traceability back to the organ donors; and certainly the objection of the prisoner of conscience who has been killed and whose organs were removed. Instead, the former WHO Director General, Margaret Chan, stated in 2016, “China’s regulations, systems and standards for organ transplantation have been brought in line with WHO guiding principles.” The WHO largely relies on self-reporting of the member states, but in the case of the PRC the objective data found in an 2016 updated report, corroborated by the China Tribunal, shows that this is not the case.
Further, international medical associations, distinct from the World Health Organization have ethical guidelines on transplantation, which have been and are being violated by the PRC. These organizations do not have the ability and jurisdiction to implement changes in the PRC re transplantation.The PRC continues to violate ethical standards in transplantation in acts that would be considered criminal by American standards. We have to end the silence on forced organ harvesting.
We propose terminating collaboration between the U.S. transplant field and the PRC’s transplant system. The PRC’s criminal transplant practices are dangerous to the U.S. as they undermine ethical standards in medicine in the U.S. and risk intellectual property theft in the transplant field. We propose immediate and robust actions with regard to China as the COVID pandemic has revealed the PRC’s lack of stewardship for medical ethics. By directly addressing the CCPs transplant abuse and forced organ harvesting, we not only interrupt the PRC’s ambition to seek prestige and recognition in the world through unethical means, but may provide a framework for prevention of the next pandemic decimating our people, our country and our economy.
- To publicly call upon the PRC to end the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners,
- To follow the concept of reciprocity in ethical norms and medical training and to halt any training of transplant doctors from China in U.S. medical schools and hospitals until independent, international inspection teams ruled out unethical, forced organ harvesting practices in China to prevent the U.S. from becoming accomplice in the PRC’s transplant abuse,
- To make it illegal for U.S. citizens to travel to any foreign country for the purposes of receiving an organ transplant with the exception of patients receiving an organ from a related donor, either family or established friend,
- To prohibit U.S. pharmaceutical companies from conducting clinical trials in China that involve the development of any pharmaceutical product or medical device that involve the recruitment of organ transplant recipients unless the origin of the organ donor is clearly documented and complies with all requirements currently in place throughout the free world,
- To prohibit the importation from China of any pharmaceutical or medical device indicated for use in organ transplant recipients or donors in the U.S. because of the potential risk of exploiting vulnerable populations;
- To prosecute any medical doctors entering the U.S.A. for crimes against humanity should they be found guilty of participating in forced organ harvesting.
The aforementioned steps are needed to protect the security and integrity of the United States as well as to prevent Americans from becoming—knowingly or unknowingly—accomplices in crimes against humanity. By calling for an end to forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China, we build our first defense line against unethical actions against U.S. citizens.
Torsten Trey, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director, DAFOH
Weldon Gilcrease, M.D., Deputy Director, DAFOH
Mike He, M.D., Deputy Director, DAFOH
Eric Jay Goldberg, M.D., Director, DAFOH
Alejandro Centurion, M.D., Director, DAFOH
The letter can be downloaded as a printable PDF file at https://dafoh.org/wp-content/uploads/Letter-to-President-Trump_June-8-2020.pdf
Email for correspondence: [email protected]
1) Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Senator James E. Risch
Senator Bob Menendez
Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Ron Johnson
Senator Cory Gardner
Senator Mitt Romney
Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator John Barrasso
Senator Rob Portman
Senator Rand Paul
Senator Todd Young
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator David Perdue
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Senator Christopher Coons
Senator Tom Udall
Senator Chris Murphy
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator Edward J. Markey
Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Cory Booker
2) Members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China
Representative James P. McGovern
Senator Marco Rubio
Representative Marcy Kaptur
Representative Thomas Suozzi
Representative Tom Malinowski
Representative Ben McAdams
Representative Christopher Smith
Representative Brian Mast
Representative Vicky Hartzler
Senator James Lankford
Senator Tom Cotton
Senator Steve Daines
Senator Todd Young
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Gary Peters
Senator Angus King