NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Organ Donation and Transplantation Conference in Guangzhou, August 21-23, 2015 has been staged to be a platform to fast-track an unverified new organ donation program with concerns that China's promise of change to improve its unethical organ procurement practices are insufficient, states Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH). Organs continue to be unlawfully extracted from prisoners of conscience.
China announced to end organ harvesting from executed prisoners in December 2014 and presented an allegedly operational organ donation system in unrealistic record time. Some international medical organizations rubber-stamped this initiative and within eight months rushed to welcome China as a new member of the international transplant community without allowing sufficient time to thoroughly verify the claims. The consequence of this porous scrutiny is detrimental and jeopardizes the lives of prisoners of conscience.
- China failed to announce the end of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience. The lack of transparency and traceability obstructs verifying that the abuse has ended.
- While organ donation systems in the world take decades to establish, China claims to have yielded a steep increase in organ donations within three years, raising serious humanitarian concerns and questions about voluntary choice versus coercive practices. The short lifetime of the donor suggests that registered organ donors implausibly pass away shortly after signing up for donation.
- International ethical standards hold that prisoners, deprived of free choice, are not in the position to give free, voluntary consent. In contrast, Chinese officials claim that death row candidates have the "right to donate organs."
- China's new organ donation system is based on financial incentives for relatives of the donor, a practice that is condemned by international ethical standards, including the World Health Organization (WHO). The approval of China's organ donation system is a move that weakens the WHO's opposition to transplant tourism and its own guiding role in medical ethics.
- After three decades of harvesting organs from executed prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the rush approval process is deemed irresponsible. Western medical organizations risk being instrumental in China's attempt to sweep the abusive organ harvesting practice from past decades under the carpet. The Guangzhou approval tramples on the rights of the victims' families to seek justice.
China did not announce to end organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, Falun Gong being the largest group. The forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners is said to have originated from former Chinese President Jiang Zemin's policies, who is now politically placed "under control." Under former vice minister of health, Huang Jiefu, the transplant numbers in China increased exponentially—without plausible explanation about the origin of the organs. DAFOH is concerned that ending forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other victim groups will not be addressed at the August 2015 Guangzhou transplant conference. Therefore, we are sending this urgent message to the President of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, to end the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
SOURCE Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH)