A Belgian Senator from the Flemish Liberal Party recently carried out his own investigation into organ transplants in China and found that hospitals are urging patients to come before February when organ supplies will decrease.
Senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven says he called two hospitals in Beijing in mid-November and presented himself as a patient in need of a kidney transplant. He says he was invited to come for the operation and was told that the waiting time would be only a few weeks.
"Now is a good time to come," the hospital staff said, according to Vankrunkelsven, advising him to come before the Chinese New Year in February. "At the time of Chinese New Year we like our prisons to be emptied. After the New Year we startup again, but then of course the waiting time will be a bit longer."
The hospital staff told the senator that the price of a kidney would be 50,000 Euros and one of the hospitals also offered to register him under a Chinese name and address.
Vankrunkelsven's investigation comes at a time when "transplant tourism" to China has been gaining attention. One reason is that although organ removal from executed prisoners has been prevalent in China since the 1980s, recently evidence has emerged indicating that organs are taken from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience as well.
The senator presented his findings at a seminar in Brussels this week sponsored by the Belgian Transplant Association. Vankrunkelsven also proposed passing legislation to ban all forms of "organ transplant tourism" to countries where the transplants are performed in violation of fundamental ethical principles.
Also attending the event were David Kilgour and David Matas, two prominent Canadians who authored an investigative report on organ harvesting from Falun Gong detainees in July.
"We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners," concludes the report.