Medical experts and advocates are calling on the international transplant society to stop cooperating and ban transplant-related research papers from China, citing concerns about human rights violations through forced organ harvesting.
The appeal followed a first-of-its-kind restriction issued by the International Heart and Lung Transplantation Society (ISHLT), a non-profit transplant association. The group announced in late August that it would stop accepting organ transplant research from China in an effort to end the abuse of transplants that reportedly breeds under the watchful eye of the Communist Party regime.
The team, led by British kidney transplant surgeon Dr Adnan Sharif, welcomed the decision. paper It was published in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation on September 22nd.
“ISHLT is firmly aligned with these ethical principles, which we applaud and implore others to follow their principles,” the three authors wrote.
“The international exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise has been a valuable feature of organ donation and transplantation, but collaboration with transplant programs has been tainted with credible evidence of unethical transplant practices.[s] For crimes against humanity related to organ donor sources,” they wrote.
Evidence has continued to mount since the report, research In the early 2000s, it emerged that the Chinese government was forcibly harvesting vital organs from prisoners of conscience held in custody.
In 2019, an independent People’s Court found that forced organ harvesting had been practiced in China for years on a “substantial scale” and that imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners had been killed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). concluded that it is a major organ source due to persecution in humans. ).
Falun Gong, a spiritual practice consisting of meditation and moral teachings based on truth, compassion and tolerance, has been ruthlessly banned by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. Many have been tortured to force them to renounce their faith.
The tribunal, also known as the China Tribunal, concluded after a year-long investigation that the Chinese government had committed crimes against humanity, saying the government and international organizations “must do their duty” regarding the findings. .
“Involvement therefore poses a grave risk to transplant institutions, groups, and societies complicit in atrocities and subsequent legal prosecutions,” three medical ethics advocates wrote. This article is co-authored by Dr. Sheldon Stone, member of the World Uyghur Congress, an advocacy group, and Susie Hughes, Executive Director of the United Nations to End Transplant Abuse in China, an advocacy group for transplant ethics.
Official data ‘unreliable’
In 2015, the Chinese government said it would stop donating organs from executed prisoners and rely solely on a new voluntary donation system.
But Sharif and other researchers have disputed the regime’s claims, raising concerns after a recent study cast doubt on the credibility of China’s official statistics on donations and transplant activity.
Citing a 2019 study published in the scientific journal BMC Medical Ethics, they said, “Beijing’s reported organ donation numbers are inconsistent and very compelling evidence that they have been falsified. I discovered that there is
This conclusion is based on a review of official Chinese data on voluntary hospital-based organ donations from 2010 to 2018, published by the Chinese Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS) and the Chinese Red Cross Society.
In addition, another report published in the medical journal BMJ in February 2019 found that 440 out of 445 Chinese medical papers made it clear whether individuals consented to donate their body parts. It became clear that there was not. The study is based on an analysis of papers using studies on organ transplantation in mainland China published in English-language peer-reviewed journals between 2000 and 2017.
call for action
In 2021, 12 UN special rapporteurs and human rights experts said in a joint statement, “Reports that Beijing is harvesting organs from imprisoned minorities, including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans and Christians. I am very vigilant,” he said.
Sharif has asked medical journals to refuse to publish studies on organ transplants from Beijing.
“Given the credible allegations and lack of evidence to the contrary, can we be confident that China’s practices comply with international law and ethical norms? The research itself is unethical,” Sharif wrote. Written opinion Released in 2021.
In August, ISHLT updated its transplant ethics policy.
“Given the body of evidence that the government of the People’s Republic of China continues to systematically support the procurement of organs or tissues from executed prisoners, it is or submissions containing any of the organizations.China will not be accepted by the ISHLT,” the organization said, referring to China’s official name.
In their recent call to uphold the ethical pillars that underpin the profession, Sharif and his co-authors warned Experts oppose training visiting doctors or surgeons who can use knowledge gained in their own countries for “transplantation based on organs from executed prisoners or other transplant-related crimes.”
“We believe this is a bold step that emphasizes the ethical integrity of society and calls on other transplant organizations to follow this precedent,” said Sharif and two others. the expert concluded.
Eva Fu, Frank Fang, and Cathy He contributed to the report.