Illegal Organ Harvesting Common in China, Expert Agrees

March 22, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: March 22, 2006 12:00 am

NEW YORK – The recent discovery of Sujiatun concentration camp in China, where authorities are currently removing organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, has highlighted the apparently widespread practice of illegally harvesting organs from prisoners without their consent. An expert on illegal organ transplants in China, Dr. Tom Diflo, has testified before U.S. Congress about such illegal practices in state-owned Chinese hospitals.

Dr. Tom Diflo, director of kidney transplantation at New York University Medical Center, has researched illegal organ transplants in China.

“The government said that this was something that they had gotten consent for, something [the prisoners] had agreed to beforehand or the families had consented to, but the evidence was overwhelming that there wasn't any consent involved—and in fact it was just the government doing what they wanted,” said Dr. Diflo.

“There appears to be a big conspiracy involved between the hospitals, the military, and of course the transplant doctors. So, once the prisoners were executed their organs were removed—either on the way to the hospital or the body is transported to the hospital and the organ is removed—and then the organs are transplanted into people who pay for the privilege of being transplanted.”

The Sujiatun concentration camp in Shenyang City of northeast China has brought organ harvesting in China to another level, according to an investigative report from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG).

A large number of people who refuse to give up the peaceful meditation practice Falun Gong have been secretly abducted to and imprisoned in Sujiatun, according to WOIPFG. Because Falun Gong practitioners are not regular death-row inmates with predetermined execution times, the timing of the organ harvesting is determined by when they are needed by the hospital. The organ-harvesting operation is conducted on living people.

Sujiatun, which was just exposed this month, has not been investigated yet by Dr. Diflo, although he does not doubt its existence.

“It would not surprise me—knowing what I know about the Chinese government—it would not surprise me if they were suppressing that information, and if they're pulling organs out of people. I'm sure they don't want anyone to know about it,” said Dr. Diflo.