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Ban on Trade of Human Organs in China

Trading in Human Organ has been finally banned in China. It has banned organizations and individuals from trading in human organs //in any form. This regulation will be effective from May 1st 2007.

China currently performs about 5,000 transplants; mostly kidneys every year and after the USA is the largest transplanting country.

It has in the past; constantly been in the limelight for taking organs from executed prisoners and transplanting them to foreigners. The media and the Human Right activists have constantly criticized the Chinese Government far not regulating and putting a stop to the organ trade.

Ni Shouting, a spokesman for China's Supreme People's Court said "The donation procedure for ordinary people and for those who sit on death row is the same." He emphasized that organs of executed prisoners were used for transplants only when the death inmates had voluntarily expressed their desire to donate their organs, or their families had given consent to such usage.

The law is essentially passed to safeguard citizen's lawful rights. It also deals with transplant quality and makes that every transplant be cleared by the ethics committee of the hospital. The main points that are covered in the law include:

  • Fines are set at between eight to ten times the value of the outlawed trade.
  • The regulation does not apply to transplants of human tissue, such as cells, cornea and marrow.
  • Doctor found to be involved in trade of human organs will have their license revoked.
  • Clinics found to trade in human organs will face a ban of at least three years.
  • Officials who are convicted of trading in human organs will be sacked from the government.
  • Organs taken from anyone under the age of 18 years can face prosecution and can be convicted of murder or intentional assault.

The current regulation consists of 32 articles in five chapters that covers human organ donations, human organ transplants, legal responsibilities and supplementary points.

Organ shortage is a global problem and it is no different in China. There is a huge Gap between the demand and supply with voluntary donations being very limited.

An estimate from the Ministry says that about 1.5 million patients need organ transplants each year, but only 10,000 can find organs.

"This is the first regulation of its kind introduced by the central government, and it is a milestone in the country's organ transplant history," said Huang Jiefu, vice health minister, adding that the regulation is in line with international standards of medical ethics and the World Health Organization's guiding principles on the issue.

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