|Picture: Pakistan Organ Trade.|
China will limit Transplant organs from executed Chinese prisoners.(HS).High demand for organs in China and a chronic shortage of donations mean that death row inmates have been a key source for years, generating heated controversy. International human rights groups have long accused Chinese authorities of harvesting organs from executed prisoners without their consent or that of their families - allegations the government has denied.
"Chinese organ transplants will completely end their reliance on donations from executed prisoners within two years," said Huang Jiefu, the vice health minister, according to the state-run China News Service. Beijing has made similar pledges before, but Huang's comments represented the shortest timetable it has offered. It was not clear whether he was referring to ending the practice in its entirety. The country was setting up a voluntary donation system, he said, with more than 1,000 organs collected since the first of 38 centres opened two years ago. China banned trading in human organs in 2007, but demand for transplants far exceeds supply in the country of 1.3 billion people. An estimated 1.5 million patients need transplants every year but only around 10,000 are carried out, according to official statistics, opening the door to forced donations and the illegal sale of organs. China executed around 4,000 prisoners last year, a 50 percent drop since 2007, according to US-based advocacy group the Duihua foundation. Huang's remarks followed an earlier statement by a senior health ministry researcher that China will start phasing out the use of executed prisoners as a source of organs for transplants next year. Under Chinese laws adopted in 2011, criminals convicted of forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from juveniles could face homicide charges, Xinhua said.Read the full story here.
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