Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Here's another example of Chinese media's reporting of organ donation by death row inmates, and cases of abuse. This translated excerpt from Phoenix TV's expose, IMHO is a balanced report on the issue of consent by the condemned:

Notoriety of celebrity has brought the issue of death row inmate organ donation to the forefront of public awareness. In reality, this is not a secret in the medical community. On September 2003, China Central Technology University's transplant research department faculty Yuan Jin, Chen Zhong Hwa, published "Morality of Live Organ Donation By Relatives". The publication mentioned main source of organ for transplantation is from death row inmates who consented to organ donation.

Reporters contracted doctors and officers of the courts to verify testimony gathered.

According to sources, in order to obtain blood sample from the condemned, permission must be obtained from the detention center, and supervised by court appointed auditor. "If it doesn't clear the courts, there's no way to donate organs." A senior court official stated that the courts providing legal avenue for hospitals to receive organs from inmates who consented to organ donation is not unprecedented.

There have been number of reports of death row inmates consenting to organ donation, including some unsuccessful petitions to donate, rendering the condemned with final regret.

At the same time, the official admits, after so many years, he can not rule out some cases of illegal organ harvesting. But he insists they are isolated cases.

However, these "isolated cases" have caused wide spread suspicion.