Saturday, 2 March 2013

Taiwanese urge to avoid unethical organ transplants in mainland China

Medical and legal specialists yesterday discussed legislative developments on regulating organ transplants abroad and urged the Taiwanese government to recognize the seriousness of the organ-harvesting crimes perpetrated in China and to legislate against organ transplants using illicit or unknown organ sources.
In a round-table discussion organized by the Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan, doctors and human rights advocates invited by the Taiwan International Care Association for Organ Transplants called any organ transplant done at the expense of another person’s life and “organ harvesting” undertaken without the consent of the organ providers “a crime against humanity.”
In the context of the growing global demand for organ transplants in recent years, illegal trafficking and trade of human organs and transplant tourism have raised serious concerns and caused raging controversies.
Among these issues, unethical organ-harvesting practices in China are a major problem that requires wider awareness and attention, the experts said.
This is especially true for Taiwanese, the association said, adding that data from the Department of Health showed that more than 88 percent, or 1,754, of Taiwanese patients who underwent organ transplants went to China for their operations between 2000 and 2011.
Not only do organs that come from questionable origins expose patients in Chinese hospitals to medical and legal risks, they might also have come from prisoners of conscience and executed prisoners, putting the patients in an ethical bind, the care association said.
Source: Taipei Times

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