China unveils organ transplant management program
Jiefu Huang, professor and chairman of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, presented China’s program for organ transplants at the Global Summit Against Organ Trafficking in Rome on Feb 7, which proposed the WHO to set up special committee to supervise organ transplants in WHO member countries.
Huang said that the Chinese government has been paying great attention to organ transplants. It released regulations on human organ transplantation in 2007; it added organ trafficking and involuntary removal of organs into the national criminal code. From the beginning of 2015, China imposed a total ban on the use of executed prisoners' organs for transplantation, Huang said, describing the process as "an arduous journey."
Huang presented a large amount of data on China's supervision system for organ transplants. According to Huang, hundreds of foreigners used to come to China every year for transplant tourism before the Chinese government banned the practice in 2009.
From 2007 to 2016, Chinese authorities formed joint task forces and cracked down on 32 illegal intermediaries, investigated 18 medical institutions, eradicated 14 black market dens, and prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned 174 people—including 50 medical personnel, Huang said, referring to the "zero tolerance" action to behaviors violating organ transplantation regulations and laws.
On behalf of China at the summit, Huang also proposed to establish a WHO task force to fulfill the mission of the Pontifical Academy Summit (PAS ) in order to eradicate organ trafficking.
"We believe the key for resolving this issue is legislation and law enforcement. The summit will be an important reference for China's legislation and law enforcement," the Chinese expert said. "Please be assured of China's clear position on prohibiting organ trafficking and transplant tourism to fulfill the goal of the summit for the humanity of the entire world."
At the summit, more than 70 scientists, experts, and officials from different countries and international organizations attended the discussion on organ trafficking and transplant tourism, in a bid to set up further guidelines and ethical rules in curbing illegal activities worldwide.
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