An advocate has sounded the alarm that the West turning a blind eye to the Chinese regime’s forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience has led to a decay in medical ethics.
“By being a bystander of this forced organ harvesting happening, allowing China to commit this forced organ harvesting … I think some of our due diligence in ethics has deteriorated a little bit. And that is a danger,” Dr. Torsten Trey, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program that premiered on Dec. 14.
“I would actually say that is also the intention from the Chinese government to influence Western society by making forced organ harvesting like a staple in the transplant field. So we are risking that our ethical standards are decaying,” he added.
He pointed to the situation with the COVID pandemic, which he said “really caught us by surprise, where decades and centuries of scientific working have been cast out.
“If you have a vaccine, the typical form is that you have to test a vaccine for 10 years to make sure that there are no side effects,” Trey said.
“So I wonder, if you give a vaccine that you tested half a year, how can you say with certainty that if you give it to children that it doesn’t have effects in 10–20 years, maybe causing cancer and other problems?” he asked.
“So there is a decay in our due diligence to enforce scientific procedures.”
The term forced organ harvesting, first coined by DAFOH in 2006, according to Trey, refers to the forceful extraction of organs used for transplantation.
That was the year he said evidence of the atrocity in China first emerged.
“The problem that we found is that the typical way of giving consent before you donate an organ, that has been bypassed. … People are actually killed, living people are killed for their organs,” the medical expert said.
He pointed to a report from The Epoch Times that shed light on the abuse through the evidence offered by Annie (pseudonym), a former worker at a Chinese hospital in northeastern China. Annie said that her ex-husband, a military surgeon at the same hospital, had forcefully removed the corneas of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners since the early 2000s.
“It was beyond my imagination, I could hardly believe it, and I followed this case,” the expert said.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline with meditative exercises and moral teachings. It grew in popularity during the 1990s leading to up to 100 million people practicing in China by the end of the decade. Perceiving this to be a threat, the Chinese regime in 1999 launched a nationwide campaign seeking to eradicate the practice.
Millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained in jails and detention facilities across the country, where they are subjected to torture and forced organ harvesting.
Trey further pointed to the London-based China Tribunal, an independent panel that did a very thorough review of the available evidence in 2019.
After considering evidence from more than 50 witnesses, the panel determined that forced organ harvesting had taken place for a long period of time on a substantial scale, with Falun Gong practitioners being the primary source of organs.
Given the clear conclusion that came about, Trey said, “ it is striking to me that other medical organizations have not taken this into consideration and said, ‘Well, maybe we need to look into this,’ because, again, this is one of the biggest violations of medical ethics and of medical practice … in history.”
“So you cannot just go back to business as usual and continue scientific exchange and exchange with personnel, with doctors in China. There should be some pause to review the evidence,” he added.
On the other hand, according to Trey, the Chinese regime has put a lot of effort into covering the abuse.
“China tries everything … to use bribery, to use other influence to stop newspapers from reporting about this issue,” Trey said, “The regime also exerts pressure at the highest levels of medical organizations.”
“We observed over time that this is not only happening in governments, but also in organizations, where the information that we provided on this topic was kind of blocked at a certain level,” he said.
He recalled his experience with the American Medical Association, where its leadership was reluctant when his group submitted a resolution.
“I assume that this is also a reflection of the pressure and the influence that comes from the Chinese government. It can happen very quickly, where the Chinese government says ‘If you want to come to our country for certain conferences then don’t bring it up,’” Trey said.
Corrupt Medical Ethics and Human Rights
The expert further laid out the reasons that could explain why the communist regime engaged in this gross abuse.
In his opinion, the Chinese regime wants to become a leader in the transplant field so that they can set standards.
“Today we would not think that we could take taking organs from prisoners. It’s unfathomable … But if the Chinese transplant market is so big that it can set the standard, it could even say no, ‘it is okay,’” he said.
Another aspect is, Trey opined, “by performing forced organ harvesting, they know they undermine the Western concepts of ethics and human rights. And they know that they will provoke the West.”
“They want to create this kind of chaos in the scientific field and the transplant field … [and] is taking advantage of this chaos,” he said.
“Like a fish can only survive in water, the Chinese government needs chaos in the world to be dominant,” Trey said.
“A third reason why I believe forced organ harvesting in China takes place and has reached these dimensions is the intention to destroy Falun Gong,” he said.
The activist further called for every medical expert to seriously look into the issue.
“This is not just a topic that should be addressed by transplant surgeons, but by every medical doctor,” he said.
“The concept of medicine, the goal of medicine is to help a patient to save a patient. But if someone else is being killed just to provide cure to others, then medicine is at a crossroads,” Trey said.
Eva Fu and Dorothy Li contributed to this report.