Speech: Preventing Organ Transplant Abuse in China
Posted by Author on September 4, 2010
By David Matas-
The following remarks were delivered at a United Nations Conference called “Advance Global Health” in Melbourne, Australia, on Aug. 31.
David Kilgour and I have concluded (first in a report released in July 2006 and updated in January 2007, and then in a book titled Bloody Harvest, released in November 2009) that Falun Gong practitioners have been killed in China in the tens of thousands so that their organs could be sold to transplant patients. I invite you to take a look at our report, which is online, or read our book to see how we came to that conclusion. Falun Gong is a simple set of exercises with a spiritual foundation that started in China in 1992 and was banned in 1999.
This abuse in China has to be of concern to the global community because it is a grave human rights violation which should concern all humanity, but also because the developed world has been complicit in the abuse. When China shifted from socialism to capitalism, the state withdrew funds from the health system.
Since 1980, government spending dropped from 36 percent of all health care expenditure to 17 percent, while patients’ out of pocket spending rocketed up from 20 percent to 59 percent. A World Bank study reported that reductions in public health coverage were worsened by increases in costs by the private sector.
According to cardiovascular doctor Hu Weimin, the state funding for the hospital where he was working was not enough to even cover staff salaries for one month. He stated: “Under the current system, hospitals have to chase profit to survive.” Human Rights in China reports: “Rural hospitals [have had] to invent ways to make money to generate sufficient revenue.”
Hospitals needed to find private funding to replace state funding. Foreign sales of organs became the primary money maker. The Organ Transplant Centre of the Armed Police General Hospital in Beijing for instance stated on its website: “Our Organ Transplant Centre is our main department for making money. Its gross income in 2003 was 16,070,000 yuan. From January to June of 2004 income was 13,570,000 yuan. This year (2004) there is a chance to break through 30,000,000 yuan.”
The Chinese health system began the organ transplant business by selling organs of prisoners sentenced to death. However, eventually, despite the large number of death sentences and executions in China, this supply became insufficient. So hospitals and prisons turned to another source—Falun Gong practitioners.
For years, patients from developed countries came over in the thousands to buy organs in China. The Government of China, in June 2007, ordered the hospitals to give priority to local patients. What before was a foreign flow became a trickle. Transplant volumes today are at traditional levels. So, with minor variations, are the sources. However, the patient composition has changed dramatically.
We cannot nonetheless say that because the patient composition is now mostly local, Chinese organ transplant abuse has ceased to be an international problem. If a pusher gets a client addicted to heroin, the pusher cannot claim innocence because the client now grows his own opium. If a bartender plies a client nightly with drinks and the client becomes an alcoholic, the bartender cannot later plead that the client now uses only his own home made moonshine.
Learning from the Chinese experience and reacting now is more than just shutting the barn door after the horses have escaped. Even the trickle of foreign patients now justifies concern. As well, learning from the experience helps us prevent its reoccurrence…….(more details from The Epochtimes)
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This entry was posted on September 4, 2010 at 6:43 am and is filed under Business, China, Crime against humanity, Falun Gong, Health, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, Organ transplant, People, Politics, Social, Speech, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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