Transplant Experts Discuss Forced Organ Harvesting in China

A group of transplant experts voiced their concern about forced organ harvesting during the 2011 American Transplant Congress in Philadelphia on May 1st. Since 2006, allegations that the Chinese regime is killing prisoners of conscience for their organs have come under international scrutiny.

The panel discussion host, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting invited Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas to speak. Matas and fellow Canadian rights advocate David Kilgour have spearheaded investigations into forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. Many of the victims are practitioners of the persecuted Falun Gong spiritual practice.

Matas presented evidence of their findings - including the transcripts of phone conversations between investigators posing as someone needing a transplant asking Chinese doctors about live organs.

[David Matas, Human Rights Lawyer & Co-author of Bloody Harvest]:
“Caller: We want fresh, live ones. Dr. Dai: They are all alive, all alive. Caller: How many live transplants have you done? Dr Dai: We have done 400 to 500 cases. Your major job is to prepare the money, enough money and come. Caller: How much is it? Dr Dai: If everything goes smoothly, it’s about RMB 150,000 to 200,000. Caller: How long do I have to wait? Dr Dai: I need to check your blood-type, if you come I can do it for you within one week. Caller: I’ve heard some come from those who practice Falun Gong, those who are very healthy. Dr Dai: Yes we do, I can’t talk directly to you over the phone.”

Medical Director of Kidney Transplant Program at UCLA, Dr. Gabriel Danovitch says the international transplant community must do more to stop forced organ harvesting from executed prisoners.

[Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, Medical Director of Kidney Transplant Program UCLA]:
“All I’m saying is if we do nothing, if we do nothing, we will share the guilt.”

Many medical experts who attended the panel discussion condemned the Chinese regime.

[Kate Tranotti, Medical Researcher at ICON]:
“It’s very similar to Nazi Germany during World War II. I think it’s atrocious. I do think the world needs to wake up.”

[Yang Jinrui, Physiatrist]:
“Everyone understood one important issue. That is, if using organs from executed prisoners is against medical ethics, then the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners is plain murder and a crime. I think this idea cannot be confused.”

During the discussion international pharmaceutical companies were also urged to do their part, by stopping drug trials on patients who have received organs from unidentified sources in China.