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China to Curtail Organ Sale

Chinese authorities have drafted new rules to dissuade erring doctors and hospitals involved in human organ trade. This move comes amidst widespread criticisms of the organs being sourced from death-row prisoners and, acts as a booster to an existing ban, which prohibits sale of human organs.

Organ trade today is a global issue. The backlash of unrelated transplants has resulted in many counties making this form of organ donation illegal. Currently countries like Pakistan and China were responsible for many such transplants. The Chinese have repeatedly been criticized for going even a step further and have out-sourced organs from death-row prisoners.

Under the new regulation, hospitals will be barred for a period of three years and officials will be fired from their posts, if found guilty. The license of the offending doctors will be revoked. The penalty fee will be raised to ten times the potential profit. The new move by the state council attempts to standardize transplant surgery procedures besides regulating the organ barter system.

US based group Human Right Watch is skeptical about the effectiveness of the new laws. It believes that the laws do not address the issue related to the origin of the organs but attempts to regularize the transplant system. Under the new laws, organs cannot be taken from donors who are below the age of 18 years. It also requires that hospitals where transplants occur need to be registered. The government also hopes to redefine the notion of 'brain death'.

Of late, China is one of the favored destinations for the 'transplant tourists' who are unable to avail of a life- saving organ back in their own countries, due to the stringent laws. China is second only to the USA, with a whopping estimate of 10,000 transplants being done annually. Most of these are carried out on domestic patients. There are
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