China Official Confesses Majority of Transplant Organs are from Executed Convicts

December 6, 2005 12:00 am Last Updated: December 6, 2005 12:00 am

As reported by Singdao Daily in Hong Kong, on December 3, during an international conference on organ transplantation held by a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Manila, Philippines, Chinese Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu frankly confessed that the majority of transplant organs in China have come from convicts sentenced to death. Huang revealed that China “…will push forward to issue a regulation for organ transplanting to standardize the supply management of the organs taken from convicts sentenced to death; reorganize the medical market of organ transplanting; and promote the clinical application of donor organs with law and regulation construction.”

According to the report, this is the first time China has officially confessed that it sold organs from executed convicts to other countries for organ transplants.

In China last year there were more than 2,700 liver transplant surgeries and nearly 6,000 kidney transplant surgeries respectively. As reported, due to various reasons, less than five percent of the organs were from live humans, while over 90 percent came from corpses, and almost all of them were convicts sentenced to death.

In addition, a UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported in September of this year a Chinese cosmetic company developed a product and advertised it in the European market. The raw materials for the cosmetics were from the skin of the corpses of executed convicts.

In the past few years, the issue of selling the organs from deceased persons has drawn international attention. Laogai Research Foundation cited a report from Canjing (Finance and Economics) Magazine that said in May 2000, after a farmer named Fu was executed by firing squad, Fu's kidney was sold privately by the local court to a large hospital in Jiangxi. Upon learning this, Fu's father committed suicide, while the victim's sister sued in the court.

Illegal Organ Business Booms

In recent years, during the persecution of Falun Gong in China, police have tortured many Falun Gong practitioners to death and removed their organs. The Epoch Times reported some cases in August 2004 (Illegal Organ Business Booms). For example, Ren Pengwu was arrested by the Hulan County police for distributing flyers and detained in the Hulan County Second Detention Center. Before dawn on February 21, only five days after his detention, he was dead from torture. Without obtaining the family's permission, and under the guise of a “ post mortem examination,” the Hulan County authorities completely removed all of Ren Pengwu's organs, from his pharynx and larynx to his penis, then hastily cremated his body.

A WHO official also indicated that it is generally believed that convicts with death sentences are not appropriate donors for organs, “…we do not hope that organ transplants have too much of a close relationship with convicts sentenced to death…. Using the organs from executed convicts should follow strict laws and regulations.”