I’ll take a liver, lungs and heart

The International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging has published a new report claiming that China is still harvesting organs from executed prisoners, even though Chinese officials said in 2005 that it would stop the practice.

The report bases itself on publicly reported figures from hospitals across China, and finds that there is a significant discrepancy between official figures for the number of transplants carried out throughout the country.

One of the authors said the Chinese communist party “says the total number of legal transplants is about 10,000 per year. But we can easily surpass the official Chinese figure just by looking at the two or three biggest hospitals.” The report estimates that 60,000 to 100,000 organs are transplanted each year in Chinese hospitals.

The report says the ‘extra’ organs come from executed prisoners. China keeps its total number of executions a closely guarded secret.

China has denied the report’s findings.

The report says that the additional organs are being taken mainly from imprisoned religious and ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, underground Christians, and practitioners of the banned Falun Gong religious movement.

According to official statistics, there are more than 100 hospitals in China approved to carry out organ transplant operations. But the report’s authors have “verified and confirmed 712 hospitals which carry out liver and kidney transplants.”

The report says detained Falun Gong practitioners were forced to have blood tests and medical exams, and the results are filed on a database of living organ sources, so quick organ matches could be made.

In late 2014, China announced that it would switch to a completely voluntary donation-based system. But each year China’s demand for organ transplants is about 300,000. Between 2012 and 2013, only around 1,400 people signed up to donate.


Picture source: Wing1990hk via Wikimedia Commons