Officials say that the practice has now stopped but is it really being enforced? For decades China was the only country in the world to systematically harvest organs from executed prisoners to treat its sick patients.
In 2015, Chinese officials said that the number of publically donated organs totaled 7,700 – higher than the previous two years combined – leading to doubts over whether the ban is truly being enforced.
Prisoners in China Newsweek reported
In June 2016 Newsweek wrote:-
Government officials in China say U.S. lawmakers are fabricating accusations that the country is harvesting organs from its prisoners.
On the heels of Monday’s White House Organ Summit, several congressional lawmakers passed a resolution in the U.S. House condemning these acts. The resolution, HR 343, calls upon the U.S. Department of the State to conduct “a more detailed analysis of state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience” in China. It also requests that the State Department report on outcomes of an existing law that requires anyone engaged in the country’s coercive organ donor system be barred from obtaining visas.
According to the bill, Chinese authorities reported in 2011 that the majority of organs used for transplantation in the country came directly from executed prisoners. This includes a sizable number of organs from practitioners of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), a religious group that, according to the Falun Dafa Association, is “a spiritual practice rooted from ancient Chinese culture. It consists of meditative exercises and a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.”
The rest of Healthcheck this week.
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BBC Healthcheck is presented by Claudia Hammond