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Forced Organ Harvesting

Introduction

Starting in March 2006, three independent witnesses have publicly stated that some hospitals in China remove organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners without obtaining their prior consent. The witnesses further stated that the unwilling victims had been incarcerated in facilities that resemble detention centers or concentration camps. Their tissue compatibility was systematically analyzed and stored in data banks. This process allowed Chinese transplant surgeons to provide donor organs including kidney, heart, pancreas, liver, skin, and cornea on short notice. Publicly accessible websites of some of these transplant centers promised to provide donor organs within 2-4 weeks, in some cases even within 2 days. In Western countries, the waiting time for organs usually amounts to several years.

The website of the Tianjin Oriental Organ Transplantation Center has documented the increase of liver transplants in a chart, which might serve as example for the expansion of the transplant medicine.

Since March 2006, a large amount of evidence surrounding the practice of systematic government-sanctioned involuntary organ removals from incarcerated victims that are primarily Falun Gong practitioners has been collected and published. Overall the collected information reinforces the reliability of aspects of previous allegations.

The Western understanding of free and voluntary organ donations does not apply to the situation at hand. According to the allegations, in China, the international standards of organ donation are turned upside down and organ recipients are not added to a waiting list until a suitable donor can be identified; rather, the potential organ donors are incarcerated, forming a sort of living organ donor “reservoir”. Their lives are in immediate jeopardy, as soon as their tissues are found to be compatible with an interested organ recipient and their organs are removed without consent. This type of transplantation “on demand” and “for profit” is unprecedented and needs to be investigated.

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting makes an additional distinction between organ harvesting from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners and organ harvesting from executed prisoners, which has been known to occur in China since late 1980s. In the latter case, the individual is sentenced to death due to a violation of the law, and the organs are removed after execution. Although this form of organ harvesting is itself of questionable morality, it is not yet in the same category as harvesting organs from innocent living Falun Gong practitioners, described in the Kilgour & Matas Report.

The latter involves the murder of individuals detained as prisoners of conscience as part of a state sanctioned persecution of Falun Gong. These individuals did not violate the law and were not charged in judicial courts or sentenced by trial, they are innocent victims because the Chinese government persecutes the Falun Gong movement without having the slightest reason to sentence the individuals. Their organs are removed and sold for profit with the ensuing death of the involuntary donor. Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting holds that this form of execution is part of the persecution of Falun Gong and is tantamount to premeditated murder with associated robbery.

It is important to appreciate that the very nature of secret concentration camps operating inside totalitarian regimes like China where the flow of information is entirely government-controlled, makes it difficult to uncover their inner workings because they remain inaccessible to outside investigators. Nevertheless, the extent of the amassed circumstantial evidence, combined with the uncontested severity of the allegations, demands that Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting takes action to raise awareness about these practices, and to call for additional investigations.

 

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