Senator, Ethicist, Physician, and Political Writer Demand Action from Australian Government

China’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience made headlines in Australia, with some calling for closer scrutiny of relationships between hospitals and physicians in Australia and those in China.

RN Breakfast hosted a week of conversations on forced organ harvesting, citing evidence that “China illegally harvests up to 100,000 organs from prisoners of conscience every year.”

Some physicians and hospitals who collaborated with China in the past have since severed ties due to concerns over unethical transplant practices. Recently, questions have again surfaced about relationships between Australian hospitals and Chinese transplant researchers.

Speaking with RN Breakfast, leading Australian medical ethicist and Professor Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University stated that, “Until China provides evidence that it is no longer murdering prisoners of conscience for their organs, we shouldn’t have anything to do with anything remotely connected with transplantation in China.”  Rogers believes that forced organ harvesting is still taking place despite China’s denials.

Eric Abetz, Tasmanian Senator and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, also gave his views on forced organ harvesting to RN Breakfast, referencing the recent findings of the China Tribunal which he believes to be “true and correct” and are a call to action. “The Australian government and the international community need to take a very strong stand and tell the Chinese authorities that what they are undertaking is illegal, it’s barbaric, it’s a breach of every fundamental human right that you can think of.”

It has been estimated that forced organ harvesting in China is a multi-billion-dollar industry. The organ brokerage trade has emerged alongside the monumental growth of the organ transplant industry in China. The fact that recipients are able to schedule a transplant in advance is not only cause for concern, but flies in the face of China’s claim that it is not forcibly harvesting organs.

Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh, a physician at the University of Sydney, and member of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, recently spoke with The Sydney Morning Herald. “Booking in a transplant, whether it be through a hospital or a broker, is impossible in a normal, voluntary organ donor system,” she said. “There is only one way you can do this, and that is where you have an organ bank – a large group of people who are being held in detention and killed on demand.”

The Sydney Morning Herald article provides a detailed history and demonstrates a clear understanding of China’s organ harvesting crimes against humanity.

It is heartening to note that some countries have taken a strong stance against these crimes. The Herald reported, “Dr Jacob Lavee, director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Sheba Medical Centre, in Israel, spearheaded the Israeli Organ Transplant Law in 2008, blocking outgoing transplant patients to China.”  Other countries are also concerned with what is going on in China and are passing legislation aimed at ending these horrific crimes.

But more still needs to be done.  The world cannot stand by while these atrocities continue.  Twenty years is twenty years too long.

Writer and publisher David Llewellyn-Smith recently wrote an article asking this question: Ever wonder if you would have fought the rise of Nazism?  It certainly makes one take pause.

He poses this question in relation to the recent takeover by China of the Australian state-owned milk producer Bellamy, and calls this action an effort on the part of the Australian government to “kowtow its way back into CCP favor.”  He notes that China has since used its influence in Australia to control any questioning of its actions.  The Chinese embassy issued a statement to which Llewellyn-Smith opined, “[are] we’re not allowed to discuss the CCP in our own country if that is challenging Chinese sovereignty?”

Llewellyn-Smith goes on to quote articles on forced organ harvesting published in both the New York Times and Forbes, and questions why his government is trying to crawl into the good graces of a country committing such atrocities.

He ends by saying “If you’ve ever wondered if you would have fought the rise of Nazism, now you know.”

That’s a powerful statement.