China faces suspicions about organ harvesting
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The Kilgour-Matas report "makes a very convincing case," says Kirk Allison, associate director of the Program in Human Rights and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He says academic journals and conferences now should take an ethical stand to reject papers and presentations from authors who rely on data derived from transplantations performed in China.Skip to next paragraph
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"Given the evidence at hand, international transplant patients who obtain organs in China do so at the cost of benefiting from, and tacitly supporting, the continuance of an ongoing lethal violation of human dignity and human rights," Dr. Allison said in a published statement circulated at the World Transplantation Congress in Boston last week. "Prospective patients should be informed of this fact and actively discouraged from pursing this avenue of treatment."
Kilgour took on the Falun Gong project last spring after retiring from the Canadian Parliament, where he had been elected as a member since 1979. Neither he nor Matas are Falun Gong practitioners.
In March, the Chinese government announced that a new law, to take effect July 1, would ban sales of human organs and require that donors give written permission for their organs to be transplanted. But, according to Kilgour, the fact that a new law was passed "highlights the fact that there is no such legislation in place now."
Kilgour and Matas plan to update and reissue their report in September.
As part of their report alleging that China was executing Falun Gong prisoners and harvesting their organs for transplantation, Canadian lawyers and human rights activists David Kilgour and David Matas included transcripts of telephone calls made by Mandarin Chinese speakers from North America to hospitals and other institutions in China. The callers inquired about the availability of organs from Falun Gong prisoners. The caller below is identified only as "M" to protect his or her identity. Excerpts from English translations of some of the transcripts follow:
From a call to "Li" at the Mijiang City Detention Center in Heilongjiang Province (June 8, 2006):
M: Do you have Falun Gong [organ] suppliers? ...
Li: We used to have, yes.
M: What about now?
Li: ... Yes.
M: Can we come to select, or you provide directly to us?
Li: We provide them to you.
M: What about the price?
Li: We discuss after you come.
From a call to Shanghai's Zhongshan Hospital Organ Transplant Clinic (March 16, 2006):
M: ... So how long do I have to wait [for organ transplant surgery]?
Doctor: About a week after you come....
M: Is there the kind of organs that come from Falun Gong? I heard that they are very good.
Doctor: All of ours are those types.
From a call to "Dr. Lu" at Nanning City Minzu Hospital in Guangxi Autonomous Region (May 22, 2006):
M: Could you find organs from Falun Gong practitioners?
Dr. Lu: Let me tell you, we have no way to get [them]. It's rather difficult to get it now in Guangxi. If you cannot wait, I suggest you go to Guangzhou because it's very easy for them to get the organs....
M: Then they use organs from Falun Gong practitioners?
M: ... What you used before [organs from Falun Gong practitioners], were they from detention center[s] or prison[s]?
Lu: From prisons.
M: ... And it was from healthy Falun Gong practitioners...?
Lu: Correct. We would choose the good ones because we assure the quality in our operation.
From a call to "Dr. Dai" at Shanghai Jiaotong University Hospital's Liver Transplant Center (March 16, 2006):
M: I want to know how long [the patients] have to wait [for a liver transplant].
Dr. Dai: The supply of organs we have, we have every day. We do them every day.
M: We want fresh, alive ones.
Dr. Dai: They are all alive, all alive....
M: I heard some come from those who practice Falun Gong, those who are very healthy.
Dr. Dai: Yes, we have. I can't talk clearly to you over the phone.