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Petition to stop the harvesting of organs from prisoners executed in China

Publié le : 6 December 2013

 On 9 December 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights received a petition from the Non-Governmental Organisation "Doctor against forced organ harvesting" (DAFOH), bearing over a million signatures. The aim? "To demand an immediate stop to the harvesting of organs from prisoners executed in China".           

China currently ranks in second place in terms of countries carrying out the most organ transplantations. According to The China Daily, in 2005, 20,000 transplants were carried out "in record delays" with waiting times of just "one to two weeks". Between 1999 and 2006, the number of centres harvesting organs rose from 150 to 600. Dr. Harold King, dental surgeon and head of the NGO DAFOH in France put forward possible reasons during a National Assembly debate: "in 1984, the Chinese government authorised the police to use the corpses of condemned prisoners for transplant purposes, with or without family consent". Since then and based on an investigating report entitled "Bloody Harvest1*, "the evidence has accumulated," stated the journalist. Under pressure from international authorities, "China has attempted to wave the white flag by adopting a resolution aimed at limiting organ harvesting to volunteer donors". However, only 169 out of 600 practising hospitals have signed up. 
With this petition, French doctors "are asking people not to close ranks" and to support the scientific community when faced with the "unacceptable", explains Dr. Jacques Belghiti, Head of the Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery at Beaujon CHU (University Hospital Centre) by denouncing the lack of reaction from patients undergoing transplants in 2006 when the ‘"transplantation explosion in China" actually hit the headlines. However, "the idea [primarily in the United States] whereby a prisoner could seek redemption through transplantation" or even the notion of "economic liberalism that sees nothing wrong in marketing organs" continues to pose a genuine obstacle. In France, the Biomedicine Agency controls transplantations "impeccably". Professor Didier Sicard suggests that France should help the Chinese by promoting "the ABM (Biomedicine Agency) to the ranks of international role model". 
 
*Enquiry report "prélèvements meurtriers" (‘Bloody Harvest’) by David Matas, lawyer, and David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Pacific Asia. 

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