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Who says the Chinese don’t know capitalism?

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.

5 comments to Who says the Chinese don’t know capitalism?

  • von

    This doesn’t bother me really. Is there something I’ll be needing my organs for after I die that I’m not aware of?

  • Morgan

    How would you feel if you were a political dissident put to death just because someone wants your liver and kidneys?

  • von

    Wow. Since you put it that way. I didn’t realize they were killing people specifically for their organs. I was kind of thinking more along the lines of that childrens book auther that America killed a while back. You know, since he is dying anyway, maybe it would be ok to swipe his liver to give to someone who is deathly ill.

    I guess I didn’t RTFA that well…

  • Morgan’s engaging in some alarmism here. Nowhere in the article did it state that the Chinese were putting convicts to death so that their organs could be harvested. That wasn’t even implied, and I don’t want that rumor starting here. That’s not the issue.

  • Morgan

    If a felon such as convicted multiple murder, Stanley “Tookie” Williams, was about to be put to death and said in a video that he was willing to donate his organs, I wouldn’t have a problem with him donating organs to the needy.

    The problem is that it would be too easy for corruption to take over and suddenly the penal system is in the organ harvesting business. The money is just way too good for corruption not to eventually claw its way into the system.

    However, I doubt this situation would happen in this country. With most executed felons in the U.S., death is usually caused by some type of poisoning such as lethal injection or the gas chamber. I would imagine this would ruin most of the organs in the process.