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Executed prisoners’ organs still harvested in China

Huang Jiefu, a former Chinese deputy health minister, has claimed that organs of executed prisoners in China may be still being used to carry out organ transplants at certain places. Even though such transplants have been banned in China and the country has a zero tolerance policy for such acts, Jiefu said that China is a big country and it is difficult to monitor every organization and individual. He pointed out to the possibility that powerful and rich people in need of transplants may be utilizing the organs of executed prisoners.

It may be recalled that last year, China’s role in harvesting the organs of executed prisoners was criticized by human rights organizations. As per estimates, nearly 3,000 to 7,000 prisoners are executed in China every year. No official reports are available as this is a state secret in China. Nicholas Bequelin, the East Asia director for Amnesty International, said that even though the practice has been officially outlawed in China, it is difficult to determine whether it has really stopped.

The worst thing about these organ transplants is that prisoners’ organs are removed even before they are technically dead. China does not follow World Health Organization recommendations on how doctors should determine whether a person is legally dead. It has also been reported that the execution time of prisoners is often matched with the time a recipient might need an organ.

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