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Majority of doctors skeptical of organ transplantation practices in China
Date:4/22/2009

rganizations cite serious concerns about clandestine international brokers, surreptitious payment, coercion of organ donors (and/ or donor families) and substandard medical and surgical practices that may lead to lower success rates and higher risk for transmission of infectious disease.

International ethical guidelines exist to ensure that the donation of organs is voluntary, both in life and after death. Not all countries adhere to these ethical guidelines. When traveling from one country to another country for organ transplant surgery, patients risk using an organ obtained in an unsafe or unethical manner.

In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the transplantation of 66,000 kidneys, 21,000 livers and 6,000 hearts. Approximately 10 percent of these procedures occurred via transplant tourism. Leading destination countries for transplant tourism include China, India, the Philippines and Pakistan. The number of organ transplant procedures in China is surpassed only by the U.S. According to the WHO, in 2005 China had 348 transplant centers, which performed 8,204 kidney and 3,493 liver transplantations.

Transplant tourism to China has been isolated as particularly controversial. Organ procurement from executed prisoners in China has been reported by the U.S. Department of State, non-governmental investigative reports and in medical literature. These reports indicate that over 95 percent of organ donors in China are prisoners. China's use of prisoners, particularly those slated for execution, represents the use of a vulnerable population that is particularly susceptible to coercion. For this reason, both live and deceased donor organ procurement from prisoners violates U.S. professional guidelines and international standards ratified by the World Medical Association Statement on Human Organ Donation and Transplantation.

"Physicians caring for patients in need of organ transplantation must balance the duty to the indiv
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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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