Ronald Stuntman, an advisor to the International Transplantation Society says its been n open secret among doctors who do transplants that the Chinese military has been selling the kidneys of executed prisoners, perhaps thousands of them since the late 1 In the past little over 30 years, transplant medicine encountered a big challenge, a severe shortage of organs. Unfortunately, organ trafficking and tourism transplant began in response to this challenge. From this point on, organ donation took more of a commercial route, rather than how it was intended. Many times, donors were lured and even coerced to donate organs (mainly kidneys) for cash. Usually the decision to donate organs for cash moms from financial distress of the organ donor who desperately thinks this will help improve their financial situation, without thinking of the recourse and any complications that may emerge from this procedure which can create another financial burden due to a new health risk. Some may argue, especially in mainland China that prisoners consented to donate their organs and even ‘Voluntarily signed up”* As the reporter mentioned, is a double standard to ask a death row inmate to donate their organs before being executed.
In this situation, China has gone beyond gray one by harvesting organs from executed prisoners, which shows more or less a killing for organs and a contradiction to the mission of today’s medicine. “According to official statements, 90% of the transplant organs from deceased donors in China stem from executed prisoners”** Some of the next steps would be for medical doctors to safeguard the ethical standards in medicine to the highest level and call for an international investigation on forced organ harvesting from the death row inmates in Chinese prisons.
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Any step to promote medical ethics will be beneficial to the reversion and the patients. In conclusion, given the consequences of this issue, the fact that other people that are in critical condition, spending more than half a day each day at the dialysis center, will have the chance to be saved and live a better life (to the expense of someone else’s life) is the most positive aspect of this negative issue. Reference: *Award-Winning Investigation: Blood Money (BBC News video)