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Australian Report: Chinese Surgeons Removed Prisoners’ Organs Causing Deaths

    China – An Australian academic paper published findings about numerous Chinese doctors killing death row prisoners by removing their hearts even before the inmates had been officially declared dead.

    International guidelines on organ transplants state that organ removal must not cause the death of the donor, but the academic paper from the Australian National University published in the American Journal of Transplantation suggests Chinese doctors might have done it.

    A legal review of two thousand reports revealed almost a hundred cases where surgeons might have removed a patient’s organ before a “legitimate determination of brain death”.  These cases occurred between 1980 and 2015. Before then, the majority of organ transplants in China were believed to have come from executed convicts since voluntary organ donation was restricted.  

    “We found that the physicians became the executioners on behalf of the state and that the method of execution was heart removal,” study co-author and Ph.D. researcher Matthew Robertson said in a statement.

    China sees data on the death penalty as a state secret. While organ harvesting from prisoners is officially banned in China, the secrecy makes it difficult to know whether the practice is continuing at this moment.

    “Given the Chinese government’s poor and worsening human rights records in recent years, we should treat the authorities’ commitments to end the use of prisoner organs with skepticism,” said Maya Wang, China researcher at Human Rights Watch.

    A 2019 study by the ANU’s Robertson also brought up questions about Chinese government data about organ transplants. The study found that the numbers might have been falsified as they have been falsified during the start of COVID-19. Seeking the truth is difficult in this country, as the national government tries to hide any kind of proof before researchers can even arrive in China.

    Article by: Alessia Donzello

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