Newsletter Q2/13 — February 25, 2013

In This Issue

Doctor’s Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) aims to provide the medical community and society with objective findings of unethical and illegal organ harvesting. Organ harvesting, the removal of organs from a donor, without obtaining prior free and voluntary consent, is considered a crime against humanity, as well as a threat to the integrity of medical science in general. This edition of our newsletter offers up to date information on international efforts to stop unethical organ harvesting.

Feature Story:

Taiwan Reacts to Unethical Organ Harvesting in China

On November 22, 2012, the Taiwanese Yuan voted for a budget resolution concerning medical organ transplantation, which is legally binding for the Department of Health. According to the statistics of the Taiwanese Department of Health, Taiwanese people accepted organ transplants from overseas with up to 1,754 people having gone to China, accounting for 88.6% of all overseas transplants between 2000 to 2011. The resolution states that within three months, the Department of Health will require major medical institutions and physicians to register the country of all organ sourcing and the hospital information (including surgeon identification) where patients received their organ transplants abroad when they apply for postoperative health insurance payments after returning home. This is to support transparency of foreign organ transplantations and ensure the safety of transplant recipients.

 

In a television interview on December 4, 2012, Dr. Chun-Jen Shih, a renowned Taiwanese neurosurgeon and the most respected former director of the Taiwanese Department of Health, expressed his condemnation of Communist China’s forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience stating “Removing a living person’s organs against her will, this action, this crime, is no longer a medical procedure; it is murder, right? I think, if we allow this crime to go on, it would be a major disaster for mankind.” Read Full Article

Call for Action:
Survey on Proposed Transplant Law Reform in New South Wales, Australia

The deadline for taking the survey and submitting comments is March 7, 2013

David Shoebridge, member of the Upper House in New South Wales, Australia, is seeking broad consultation with the global medical community, international stakeholders and all concerned individuals on a formal proposal he has authored asking for urgent organ transplant law reform. The proposal, if enacted, would make transplant tourists legally responsible by making it illegal to receive unethically trafficked organs.  This law reform would bring global attention to the need for immediate criminalization of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. To garner support for reform Mr Shoebridge has posted a consultation paper and brief online survey on the web asking for public opinion and international peer review.

News In Review:
September 2012 – February 2013
The Forum “Crimes of the 21st Century: Organ Trafficking, Global Health and Security” featured a panel of speakers including Dr. Arthur Caplan, Head of the Division of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center and Ashok Vaseashta, Director of the Institute for Advanced Sciences Convergence USA.
 
January 29:   European Parliament’s Hearing on Forced Organ Harvesting in China
The hearing, entitled “Religious Persecution by China: A Horror Story,” was convened by Edward McMillan-Scott, EP Vice-President for Democracy and Human Rights, in conjunction with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
January 1: Petition on Organ Harvesting Receives 29,000 Signatures in 30 Days
Doctors worldwide and American citizens are demanding that U.S. act now through a White House petition to “Investigate and publicly condemn organ harvesting from Falun Gong believers in China.”December 18: Hearing before Congressional Executive Commission on China
During the hearing hosted by CECC chairman Congressman Chris Smith and co-chairman Sherrod Brown the topic of forced organ harvesting was addressed by several speakers including Professor Jianchao Xu, MD, Director for Medical Affairs with DAFOH.
November 5: Chinese Embassy Seeks to Squelch Israeli Knesset Members
The Chinese embassy in Israel instigated pressure on nine members of the Knesset who signed a petition that asked the United Nations to initiate independent investigations into China’s organ harvesting practices.November 3: World Medical Association Statement on Organ and Tissue Donation

Adopted by the 63rd World Medical Association (WMA) General Assembly, Bangkok, Thailand, October 2012, the WMA Statement from Bangkok included a passage that specifically addressed the situation of organ procurement from prisoners.

 

September 12: Congressional Hearing Addressing forced organ harvesting in China

Co-chaired by Hon. Dana Rohrabacher and Hon. Chris Smith, the hearing panelists included Dr. Gabriel DanovitchDr. Damon Noto and Ethan Gutmann and explored aspects of organ harvesting practices in China and what American citizens can contribute to end the practice.

 

September 12:  Bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

A formal letter requesting information that the Department of State might have about the organ harvesting practices in China has been signed by 106 members of the House of Representatives.

Evidence In Depth:

“Cover up of Organ Transplant Sourcing in China”
Presentation by David Matas on 12/17/2013 in Geneva

The World Health Organization guiding principles on human cell, tissue and organ transplantation require, in principle #10 identifies traceability, and in principle #11 transparency for transplant sources.  China violates both of these principles.

Research in reports published in June 2006, January 2007, and in the book Bloody Harvest (Nov. 2009), all of which I co-authored with David Kilgour, and in the book State Organs (Aug. 2012)  which I co-edited with Dr. Torsten Trey, concluded that the bulk of prisoners who are sources of organs are prisoners of conscience, mostly practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises Falun Gong, sentenced to nothing. Read Full Article

Resources:

Videos, Books, Web

Thank you for your interest in the work of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting and the international effort to stop unethical organ harvesting. I hope you will take a moment to complete the survey on the proposed law reform in Australia. If you would like more information on our work and the issue of forced organ harvesting, please visit our website at www.dafoh.org.

Sincerely,
Torsten Trey
Executive Director
 
 
 

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