It was reported today in the Online Edition of The Independent that well-to-do Japanese have been paying the Chinese for organ “donations” which have been harvested from recently executed prisoners.
Hundreds of well-off Japanese and other nationals are turning to China’s burgeoning human organ transplant industry, paying tens of thousands of pounds for livers and kidneys, which in some cases have been harvested from executed prisoners and sold to hospitals.
Beijing does not reveal how many people it executes, but analysts estimate as many as 8,000 people are killed each year. Reports of Chinese authorities removing organs from executed prisoners have been circulating since the mid-1980s, when the development of a drug called Cyclosoporine-A made transplants a newly viable option for patients.
Until now, most of the evidence linking executions to the organ trade has been anecdotal and has not been helped by a lack of transparency in the Chinese criminal justice system or the secrecy that surrounds prison executions.
A recovering Mr Hokamura claims he is concerned with where his new kidney came from. “My translator said my donor was a young executed prisoner,” says the businessman. “The donor was able to provide a contribution to society so what’s wrong with that?”
What’s wrong is that the person who donated the kidney didn’t have much choice in the matter. It appears that China now has a new export and an almost limitless supply of the product. All one has to do is find a right blood match for the patient and then discover what the soon-to-be donor did to deserve the upcoming execution.
It doesn’t surprise me that the Chinese have begun to farm their prisoners for their organs. What does surprised me is that the Japanese government wants to regulate it rather than ban it outright. You would think that someone somewhere might have some moral outrage over unwilling organ donation, but I guess the money is just too good.
Drinks on me, everyone! We now know where we can get replacement livers.
Thanks to the Drudge Report for point out this article.