Persistent effort will change the tide: a 2018 New Years message from Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting  

It is with great concern for the victims of forced organ harvesting and an unabated sense of dedication to help that we begin the New Year 2018. Regardless of past obstacles and challenges we have not weakened our resolve: coerced, non-consented procurement of organs from prisoners of conscience, and other vulnerable people, for transplant operations has not stopped in China.

It is our hope that 2018 will be a landmark year of transplant reform with a complete end of forced organ harvesting in China and everywhere that it occurs. We wish for the immediate release of prisoners of conscience, the Falun Gong and others, held as a living organ bank for the transplant market in China. The future of humanity and of world peace depends on upholding human rights across the globe.

Year’s end and year’s beginning are times to reflect and plan anew. In the case of forced organ harvesting in China, it includes a review of two decades of persecution of Falun Gong that coincides with growth in transplant medicine. China’s sudden, emerging claims of leadership in the transplant field, despite the absence of adequate public organ donations, is a shame to the medical world. China boasts of an unparalleled transplant knowledge base built upon unethical and criminal practices. The transplant infrastructure in China has grown unparalleled. Yes, people might think that China is an economic powerhouse with remarkable economic expansion. However, this represents industrial development based on work force. Transplant medicine is based on free, altruistic organ donation, the “gift of life.” This is where the parallel of industrial growth and transplant market growth in China does not add up: no matter how hard the Chinese people work to expand their economy, organs cannot be procured by more work. The transplant growth in China has been built upon bloody practices, its victims prisoners and prisoners of conscience, primarily the largest persecuted group in China, the Falun Gong. A commitment to humanity and justice prohibits ignorance of these violations, both past and present.

In 2017, Chinese officials made an announcement that left the world puzzled: China aims to lead the world in transplantation by 2020. The terror of the victims and their loved ones, the disappearances, unlawful arrests, forced medical testing, forced labor, and the most brutal torture of men and women aimed at brainwashing and breaking the spirit and bodies of China’s most religious and ethnic people remains the hallmark of the regime.

Second only to the US in announced numbers of transplant operations, China marches forward with explosive growth in transplant medicine. Yet, the country’s failing public organ donation system underscores the ongoing dependence on killing prisoners for organs. With over 300,000 of its own citizens waiting for life saving transplants, wealthy people from foreign countries continue to travel to China for made-to-order, fast track, highly lucrative transplant operations.

In 2017, human rights lawyers, investigators and journalists published updates on the problems challenging the assertion that China claims to be a country ruled by law, that human rights are upheld and guaranteed by the government, or that China has mysteriously changed its ways. Persistent public pressure on China calling for transparency and reform may have an effect and change the tide.

The Chinese people themselves, those who value humanity and freedom,  inspire the world with their courage and the belief that human rights must be protected, and justice must be served. The society-wide discussion of the doctor’s Petition Against Forced Organ Harvesting to the United Nations condemns the persecution of Falun Gong as the primary victims of this crime against humanity, and the nearly three million people who signed the petition bear witness to its importance.

Doctors across the globe are beginning to acknowledge this urgent problem and uphold their historical responsibility to safeguard human rights, their oath to do no harm, as shown in the numerous acclaimed films and publications of 2017 and prior years. Various awarded documentaries demonstrated the conviction of the medical community to raise awareness within healthcare and demand governments take immediate action to protect the victims in China and the citizens of their own countries against unwitting collusion. Doctors are working with international medical associations, human rights advocacy groups and governments as strong agents for change.

In 2018 we will continue to call on the United Nations to carry out its mission, to Chinese authorities to fulfill their promises of reform and immediately release the prisoners of conscience, and allow unbiased investigation to verify ethical medical practices in organ procurement and transplant medicine in their country.

In 2018, we will again call on the US government to follow other countries and pass protective legislation criminalizing involvement and collusion.

The New Year is an unprecedented opportunity and the time to save lives is shorter than ever. Through the maze of delays, secrecy, deceit and empty promises of reform in seeing an end to this crime against humanity we refuse to be bystanders and will continue our work-our efforts will influence change.

Please stand with us and help make this the year that saw an end to this crime against humanity.


Torsten Trey, MD, PhD

Executive Director



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