Convicts: a renewable resource

You’re not really surprised, are you?

BEIJING–The majority of transplanted organs in China come from executed prisoners, state media reported Wednesday in a rare disclosure about the country’s problem of dubious organ donations.

Despite a 2007 regulation barring donations from people who are not related to or emotionally connected to the transplant patient, the China Daily newspaper said 65 per cent of organ donations come from death row.

It quoted Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu as saying written consent is required from condemned prisoners but that they are “definitely not a proper source for organ transplants.”

…China has previously acknowledged that kidneys, livers, corneas and other organs were routinely removed from prisoners sentenced to death, but gave no figures to show how widespread the practice was.

— “Executions provide 65% of transplant organs in China.”  Associated Press (via Toronto Star), 25 August 2009.

Definitely not the proper source, but it’s the one we’ll use for now, though.

Also, it’s a bit rich to classify this scheme as organ donation.  When you’re harvesting organs from those condemned to death (and whose postmortem wishes are not really a consideration), the term is arrogation.

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