A study finds new evidence that many surgeons and medical professionals in China have been acting as “executioners” while performing organ transplant operations.

According to a recent paper published in the American Journal of Transplantation (AJT), hundreds of Chinese surgeons did not perform tests to confirm the brain death of the donors before removing vital organs from them. That means the surgeons procured organs from people who are not declared dead, technically becoming executioners, killing patients for their organs.

According to the dead donor rule, ethical procurement of vital organs from heart-beating donors requires the donor to be brain dead. In other words, the donors must be dead before removing their vital organs. 

After the authors reviewed nearly 3,000 Chinese-language clinical reports, they found 71 papers where medical professionals in China had carved out hearts and lungs from people for transplant without first performing a test to confirm brain death. 

Those papers involved a total of 348 medical professionals from 56 Chinese hospitals.

The research into clinical reports in China from 1980 and 2015 reveals that the donor was intubated after the brain death was declared, and/or the donor was intubated immediately before organ procurement, or the donor was ventilated by face mask only. This suggests that the brain death assessment did not happen before transplant operations.

Dr. Jacob Lavee, director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and Matthew P. Robertson, a China studies fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, are co-authors of the study. 

The research paper was published in early April 2022, and several news outlets have reported on the findings, but recently the topic has been raised again by the Wall Street Journal

China has set up one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated organ transplantation systems, with waiting times far shorter than most other countries.

Especially while waiting periods for organ transplants in the U.K and the U.S are measured in months and years, the waiting time in China is only weeks. Chinese hospitals advertise organ transplants to tourists with websites in English, Russian and Arabic.

The International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China reported in 2016 that the Chinese government was performing roughly 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year. This figure far surpassed the officially reported figure of 10,000 to 20,000 each year.

China has long been known for harvesting organs from prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, for their billion-dollar transplant business. The regime targets Falun Gong practitioners as the primary source of organ supply.

In March 2020, the UK-based Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China (China Tribunal) issued its final judgment, concluding that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.” 

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.