China bans organ harvesting of executed prisoners

2014-12-04 16:33
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China will completely ban the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners from next year, state media reported on Thursday.

"From 1 January 2015, the only source of human organs in China will be voluntary organ donation by citizens after death," Yunnan Xinxi Bao newspaper quoted Dr Huang Jiefu as saying on Wednesday.

Huang, director of the National Organ Donation Committee and the China Organ Donation and Transplant Committee, was chairing an industry conference in the city of Kunming in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

According to official figures, 10 000 legal organ transplants are performed on the mainland each year but about 300 000 patients are on waiting lists.

Previously, China had been condemned by human rights groups for allowing the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners without prior consent as its main source or organs.

Huang said prisoners sentenced to death are also citizens and should be able to choose whether to donate their organs.
 Hospitals, doctors and individuals caught distributing and transplanting prisoners' organs will be "punished severely", said the former deputy director of the health ministry.

Human rights groups welcomed the latest announcement but expressed reservations.

"This is good news, but we have to be cautious about the announcement," said Maya Wang, China researcher for Human Rights Watch.

"Given the serious shortfall for organs, the huge profits in buying and selling organs, corruption among government officials, plus the opaque death penalty system, the practice of using prisoner organs may not come to an end so soon in practice," Wang told dpa.

China's plan in 2010 to phase out organ transplants from executed prisoners was hampered by a lack of donors, caused partly by traditional beliefs and by local health officials' reluctance to join the national donor system, the ministry of health had said last year.

The lack of transplant organs fuelled a black market to cater to citizens willing to pay large fees to avoid lengthy organ donor waiting lists, prompting the government to ban all trading of human organs in 2007 and revise the criminal law to provide tough punishments for traffickers.
Read more on:    hrw  |  china

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.