Monday, December 14, 2009

Kidney transplantation in China

In China Daily: Kidneys illegally sold online

"Two major online forums and, are operating for organ brokers in dozens of cities across the country, including Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou and Shangqiu in Henan province, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, Dongguan in Guangdong province, Changchun in Jilin province and Hefei in Anhui province.

...Ministry of Health officials said the trade in human kidneys is illegal, and pointed to the creation of a new database that has been designed to make organs available to the approximately 1 million Chinese waiting for transplants. The database began as a pilot project in some areas, including Shanghai, in September.

...Chen Shi, a professor in medicine at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said the illegal trade must be banned to protect people's rights. "

Meanwhile, the American Journal of Transplantation has this to say:

"China's Vice Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu, MD, and the English-language newspaper China Daily announced in late August that China has established new national organ donation system to increase consented donors, halt rgan trafficking and quell the long-time dependence on use of organs from executed prisoners.1 A pilot project for the system, which will be operated mainly by the Red Cross Society of China with assistance from the Ministry of Health, will begin in 10 provinces and cities.
Within the China Daily article Dr. Huang says that prisoners, whom experts estimate account for more than 65% of total donors, "are not a proper source for organ transplants," nor should transplantation be a privilege for the rich.
Noting that "the candid observation by the Vice Minister is courageous and commendable," Francis L. Delmonico, MD, director of medical affairs for The Transplantation Society, advisor for human transplantation for the World Health Organization and a Harvard professor of surgery, says the concern of the international community regarding the recovery of organs from executed prisoners is that the need for organs has fueled the need, or demand, for executions. "The expectation that a foreign patient can undergo transplantation in China on a specified date—with blood type compatibility—brings that concern to a reality," he adds. He also says the international community, as represented by the Istanbul Declaration, supports the intention of China to establish a deceased donation system.
Statement From The Transplantation Society
While we can see some 'green shoots' of a new and ethical transplant program focused on meeting the needs of the Chinese community with end-stage organ failure, there is a long way still to go. There is no doubting that the Chinese Government in Beijing is determined to curtail the grisly trade in executed prisoners, so it seems mostly to have gone underground and a new trade in commercial living kidney and liver transplantation appears to be springing up. The Transplantation Society remains in contact with many people throughout China and is committed to helping to encourage these new signs of appropriate use of transplantation therapy, while remaining steadfast in opposition to the sale of organs to rich foreign patients.
—Jeremy Chapman, MD, president, The Transplantation Society"

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