China backs international fight against global organ trafficking

China is backing enhanced international collaboration to help fight global organ trafficking.

At an organ trafficking summit at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences this week, Wang Haibo said global collaboration could start with sharing information and developing a coding system.

Wang, who is head of the China Organ Transplant Response System, suggested China’s organ trading measures could be introduced at the World Health Organization (WHO).

China has been working on outlawing illegal organ trading for about a decade.

It criminalised unauthorised organ trading in 2011. The death penalty can be imposed on offenders in severe cases.

In 2015, China banned the use of organs from executed prisoners.

At the same time, it made voluntary donation the only legitimate source of transplanted organs.

In the 10 years from 2007 to 2017, a joint task force from China’s top health and public security authorities arrested about 220 people for participating in organ trafficking.

Those arrested included 60 medical staff.

The task force also rescued about 100 victims during the same period.

Wang told the summit that China could also launch an alert system at customs checkpoints.

The system would notify authorities when foreign patients waiting for organ transplants enter China.

By law, no foreigners are allowed to receive organs from deceased donors in China.

WHO’s adviser on organ transplants, Jose Nunez, says China’s preventative measures against transplant tourism could work in other countries.

Nunez pointed to China’s computerised organ allocation system which he suggested could be promoted, especially in deprived regions.

He said since 2015 China has “made big and great reforms … and that’s what we want to promote, to show that things can be changed,”

Nunez told the conference that WHO expects China to share its transparent and ethical model with other countries.

He noted China has set an example of an organ transplant model with trustworthy government involvement.

This is the second year in a row a Chinese delegate has taken part in a Vatican conference against organ trafficking.


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