Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Prisoner organs scheme phased out

Critics argue that death row inmates in China may feel pressured to become organ donors

China is to start phasing out its reliance on organs from executed prisoners for transplants early next year as a new national system of donations is implemented.

Wang Haibo said in an interview in the November edition of the World Health Organisation's journal Bulletin that Chinese officials acknowledge that a transplantation system that mostly uses organs from death row prisoners is neither ethical nor sustainable.

Wang is a Health Ministry official who is leading the country's efforts to design a nationwide organ donation system.

Organ transplantation in China has long been criticised as opaque, profit-driven and unethical.

Critics argue that death row inmates may feel pressured to become donors, violating personal, religious or cultural beliefs.

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