Report on the Investigation of Several Major Hospitals in Anshan City and Shenyang City in Liaoning Province Regarding Illegal Organ Harvesting (Part 2)
III. Analysis of Live Organ Bank in Shenyang City
1. Existence of live organ bank
A. Many Organ Transplants Occur with Short Waiting Time to Find Donors
Chosun Ilbo, a Korean newspaper, revealed in 2005 that foreign patients amounted to 507 of the 530 liver transplants performed in 2004 at the Organ Transplant Division of the No. 1 Central Hospital in Tianjin City, praised as "currently the world's largest organ transplant center." The German radio station Deutsche Welle broadcast on October 25, 2005 that about 2,600 liver transplants and nearly 6,000 kidney transplants were completed in China in the year 2004.
There are approximately ten hospitals within Shenyang City that provide organ transplant services. Published statistics from 2005 show that 250 kidney transplants and more than 70 liver transplants were carried out in Shenyang City.
As of January 2006, more than 1,500 kidney transplants have been performed at the General Hospital of the Shenyang Military Region. The Urology Department of this hospital is the kidney transplant center for the entire Shenyang Military Region.
PLA 463 Hospital, the air force hospital in Shenyang City, is among the top hospitals in Shenyang City in terms of the number of kidney transplants completed.
As of 2005, Organ Transplant Section of the No. 1 Hospital Affiliated with the China Medical University in Shenyang City had completed more than 600 kidney transplants and 120 liver transplants.
Only in areas where organ supply is abundant is it possible to develop organ transplant surgeries to such an extent.
Investigators recently called the Shenyang Military Region Kidney Transplant Center, PRA 463 Hospital (Air Force Hospital), and Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing. They also called other hospitals. The doctors said their kidney donors are all living prisoners. This is an open secret throughout Mainland China hospitals. When asked if the death row prisoners' organs were still in good condition, they said it was absolutely guaranteed that all were healthy young donors' kidneys, that the surgery success rate is higher than 90%, and that patients would be quickly operated on with the wait for organ transplant being no longer than one week.
The website for the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center (CITNAC) in Shenyang City advertised that the normal wait for a kidney transplant is one week, and it would take at most one month to find a suitable donor. For liver transplant candidates, it would require two months at the most to find a suitable donor. This center is established by the Organ Transplant Institute under the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, also called the Shenyang City Multi-Organ Transplant Center. Its website has versions in Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Russian. The Chinese version was removed after the exposure of the existence of the Sujiatun Concentration Camp.
CITNAC's Chinese Website posted surgery transplant charges:
Kidney transplant: US$ 62,000
Liver transplant: US$ 98,000 - 130,000
Heart transplant: US$ 130,000 - 160,000
A Chinese patient would normally be charged far less:
Kidney transplant: 50,000 - 80,000 yuan
Liver or heart transplant: 200,000 - 400,000 yuan (note: $1US is about 8 yuan)The hospital can thus increase its profit from ten to several hundred thousand dollars more for each foreign patient compared to a Chinese patient. These prices do not include the purchase of customarily expected, expensive gifts for the surgeons and other staff members.
B. Are Organ Donors "Death Row" Prisoners?
If the donor organs indeed come from prisoners on death row, then their organs could only be used in hospitals near the execution grounds.
According to statistics published by Amnesty International, about 2,000 prisoners are executed in China each year. Sometimes the highest estimate might reach 10,000 each year. How many people were sentenced to death and executed in the Shenyang area each year? Were all of them willing to donate their organs? The hospitals in the Shenyang area have always claimed that the organs they use for transplants come from young people. Are all death row inmates young? Would the execution always coincide with the short time frame within which the transplants must be performed and coincide with the need for donor and recipient tissue matching?
Medically speaking, the match rate between close relatives is about 50 percent for live kidney transplants. For kidney transplants, the tissue match rate between a recipient and an unrelated donor is between 1% and 2%. Based on this knowledge and applying this number for Shenyang City alone, even all of the local prisoners' organs that are usable through tissue matching would not cover the number of transplant surgeries carried out each year in Shenyang City. Wu Gang, an associate professor at the Organ Transplant Division of the No. 1 Hospital Affiliated with the China Medical University said, "Right now, the source of kidneys in Shenyang City is absolutely guaranteed!"
Obviously, death row prisoners' organs are not enough to fulfill the high demand for organs. According to the CITNAC website, a second organ would be provided within a week if problems arose with the first organ. This makes it virtually impossible that the second organ would come from a death row prisoner.
Chinese courts customarily announce a list of names of death sentences at once. It is very rare for two groups of prisoners to be executed within one week. Prisoners cannot therefore be a reliable source of emergency donor organs. Taking this into consideration, coupled with the need for exact tissue matching of these emergency donor organs, we can see that the live organ supply at the Shenyang City Multi-Organ Transplant Center is in fact even larger than our estimates above. We can thus only deduce one horrifying conclusion: a huge source of supply of live organs--one that is independent of the one from executed prisoners--exists in Shenyang City, particularly at transplant centers like the CITNAC. The CITNAC has been selling those living Chinese people's organs to the international community.
C. Organ Pool from Live Donors
In the USA, where organ donation is an accepted practice, due to shortages, the average wait time for a kidney transplant is between three to seven years. This is even so at New England's top medical institutions. According to information provided by patient groups who went to China to receive kidney transplants and through fact-gathering by investigators from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), the wait time, including tissue type matching, is less than two months there. CITNAC also promises that a matching liver, a single organ for a human being, can be found in one month; two months at the longest. The time to find a matching kidney is usually one week and does not exceed one month. An emergency replacement kidney would be provided if a problem arose with the first kidney during surgery. The second kidney would be provided within one week, guaranteed.
Due to difficulties with tissue type matching with an emergency kidney, it is almost impossible for the second organ to have come from another prisoner or an accident victim. The emergency kidney then could only have been taken from a spare organ pool. Because kidneys must be transplanted within 24 hours (48 hours in the USA), this organ pool has to be made up of living people. Again, considering the requirements for a tissue type match, it becomes evident that there is at least one huge living organ pool in the Shenyang area. The only function for the staff is to harvest these unfortunate people's organs as needed anytime.
2. Most Live Organs Come From Falun Gong Practitioners
A. Organ Supplies Increased Drastically after 1999
According to China's official statistics, only 78 liver transplants were carried out in the eight years between 1991 and 1998.
After the persecution against Falun Gong began in 1999, the number of liver transplants increased drastically. In 1999, 2000 and 2001, liver transplant surgeries went to 118, to 254 and then to 486. In 2001, the number shot up to 996, tripling again in 2003, amounting to more than 3,000 surgeries. This growth shows an increase in nationwide donor organs after 1999. We use liver transplants as an example because the liver is an organ without which the donor cannot survive.
July 20, 1999 was the day when the CCP and Jiang's regime started carrying out the comprehensive genocidal policy against Falun Gong. This persecution has lasted nearly seven years.
B. Chinese Definition of "Death Row Prisoners"
After Jiang Zemin started persecuting Falun Gong, he decreed the policy to "ruin their reputation, bankrupt them financially, and annihilate them physically." According to his own words, all Falun Gong practitioners who persist in their belief in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance are death row prisoners. In 2000 Jiang ordered, "Beating to death is nothing and shall be counted as suicide; do not identify the person and cremate the body immediately" in handling Falun Gong practitioners. Although not a single Falun Gong practitioner has been sentenced to death in court, according to statistics gathered by the Clearwisdom website, 2,852 death cases have been confirmed, most as a result of torture. Some of the Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured to death had their organs harvested while they were still alive.
In the eyes of the CCP, Falun Gong practitioners are "class enemies," and physical annihilation is the way to handle "class enemies." "Class enemy" is the definition of "death row prisoner" in the CCP's China. The following are a few incidents of Falun Gong practitioners whose organs were harvested from the Clearwisdom website:
On February 16, 2001, Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Ren Pengwu, 33 years old, from Harbin City, was arrested for distributing flyers that clarified the truth about the self-immolation on Tiananmen Square. He was held at the No. 2 Detention Center in Hulan County. He died five days later, early in the morning on February 21, 2001. Without consent from Ren Pengwu's family, the police claimed to conduct an autopsy. What they actually did was harvest all of Ren Pengwu's organs, from his throat to his groin, before cremating his body.
Ms. Hao Runjuan from Guangzhou City died after being tortured for 22 days at the Baiyun Detention Center in Guangzhou City. Her body was dissected without her family knowing about or consenting to it.
Beijing police detained 29-year-old Mr. Sun Ruijian from Ningde City, Fujian Province in November 2000 when he went to Beijing to appeal. On December 1, his family was told that Sun Ruijian had jumped out of a car while being transported by police and died. His family asked to see his body, but the police made up excuses and denied their request. When Sun Ruijian's wife finally saw his body, his eyeballs were coming out of their sockets and his chest and abdomen had been cut open.
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Wang Bin
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Wang Bin, 44 years old, worked as a software engineer at the Computer Station of the Daqing Petroleum Exploration and Development Research Institute in Heilongjiang Province. Persecutor Feng Xi and other guards at the Daqing Men's Labor Camp savagely beat him to death on September 24, 2000. After his death, his organs were barbarically removed, and his body was placed in the morgue at the Daqing People's Hospital. His heart and brain were removed. The picture shows Wang Bin's body covered in wounds and surgical stitches.
A man who was once held at the Baiyun District Drug Rehabilitation Center in Guangzhou City saw several drug addicts beating a Falun Gong practitioner. A doctor witnessed the beating and said, "Do not hit him in the lower back. The kidneys are useful." He heard the doctors tell the drug addicts several times that they should not hit Falun Gong practitioners' abdomens or eyes.
These above incidents represent only a fraction of such deaths. If even openly detained Falun Gong practitioners can have their organs removed, what about practitioners held in secret? They have become the source for most live organs. One conversation between investigators at the WOIPFG and some Chinese hospital staff validate the point:
Case 1: (A hospital affiliated with a medical university in Hunan Province)
Doctor: We choose only young and healthy kidneys. We never accept kidneys from elderly people.
Investigator: Do you have kidneys from Falun Gong practitioners?
Doctor: You can be assured of it!
Case 2: (A hospital in Shandong Province)
Investigator: The completely healthy kidneys from people who practice Falun Gong...
Doctor: Oh...[We'll have] more organs of this type in April; anyway, this kind of organ is on the rise...
Investigator: Why will you get more organs in April?
Doctor: I can't tell you that, because that involves...it's not that...it's not necessary to explain these things to you, there is no way to explain...
Case 3: (A hospital in Guangzhou City)
Investigator: How long do I have to wait [for a kidney transplant]?
Doctor: We can do the surgery about one week after you arrive.
Investigator: But I want the kidney to be healthy, fresh and live, it's not from a cadaver, is it?
Doctor: Of course it's good!
Investigator: Is there any that's provided by Falun Gong practitioners...
Doctor: That's what we have here.
Case 4: (A medical university in Tianjin City)
Investigator: The doctor said the source of this kidney is good, because he (the donor) practiced qigong. I asked what kind of qigong? [he said] Falun Gong. So those people who practice Falun Gong have good health?
Response: Of course, we have a similar situation here...We also have organs from [people who were still] breathing and whose hearts were beating...Of course, the organ quality is a very important element, which is to say the donor is young, and the time between when the blood circulation is cut off and when the organ is removed is very short, or even absent. In this situation, the blood circulation is not cut off, which is definitely good for long-term recovery, that's for sure...
C. Where Are The Missing Falun Gong Practitioners?
In the nearly seven years after the CCP started persecuting Falun Gong, Falun Gong practitioners have been continuously arrested and detained without legal reason. The number of detained practitioners is well into the hundreds of thousands. Many practitioners who went to Beijing to peacefully appeal refused to tell their names and addresses in order to resist the persecution. Furthermore, they did not want to implicate their employers and local officials. They were detained in secret and their whereabouts are unknown. It could well be they had their organs harvested before they could tell their names. The CCP declared their bodies "unidentified" at cremation.
Mr. Guo Guoting, a lawyer temporarily living outside of China, said he personally took on Huang Xiong's case, which is similar to the situation described above. Huang Xiong disappeared from his dormitory at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and was not heard from for two or three years. Mr. Guo Guoting and others searched many places but could not find him.
Since it is said that 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners were once held at Sujiatun, we speculate they probably experienced a similar fate as that of Huang Xiong.
According to a report on the Clearwisdom website in early 2001, groups of practitioners from all over China came to Beijing to call for an end to the persecution against Falun Gong. Many were arrested. Those who refused to tell their names and addresses at the Tiananmen Police Department were savagely tortured and sent to various detention centers in Beijing. After December 20, 2000 the number of practitioners sent to detention centers daily suddenly increased to dozens or even over a hundred. The guards said to the practitioners who refused to provide them their information, "We'll send you to a place where you will tell." In early 2001, groups of practitioners were sent away in big buses in the early morning every other day. An 18-year-old girl from Shandong Province shared the same cell with the author of this article, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner. Her number was K28. One morning her number was called by mistake. She got on the bus but later returned. She said all of the practitioners were being taken to Northeastern China. Later, the guards openly told us that they were sending the practitioners to Northeastern China. According to witnesses, as many as 60 buses went to Northeastern China on January 1 and January 2, 2001. Each bus carried more than 40 Falun Gong practitioners. The illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners probably became a live organ pool.
There are many reports of missing Falun Gong practitioners on the Clearwisdom website. We only want to list a few examples here:
Mr. Zhang Wenliang, born in October 1945, was from Zunhua City, Hebei Province. In early November 2000, he went to Beijing to clarify the truth about Falun Gong but has not returned since.
Ms. Li Ruihuan, in her 60's, is from Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province. Her address is 42-5-301, the Huaxing Neighborhood. On January 13, 2002, she went to Beijing to appeal on behalf of Falun Gong. The police arrested and savagely beat her and placed her in the Fengtai Detention Center. Her whereabouts are unknown.
In light of the information and analysis above, we think the kidney supply source for the Tiedong Hospital in Anshan City is highly suspicious.
Certain Falun Gong practitioners have confirmed that a large group of practitioners from unknown location(s) have been recently transferred to the No. 1 Detention Center of Anshan City in Liaoning Province. The practitioners' names and hometowns are unknown. We are worried that they may become subjects for commercial products after having their kidneys removed!
We hope all Falun Gong practitioners in Anshan City will take action to thoroughly clarify the truth. Those whose situations permit can investigate further and find out additional details about people who made such arrangements and who participated in these crimes. We can find out their names and phone numbers, including cell phone numbers, home addresses, information about their parents, siblings, relatives and friends.
Several hospitals are already aware and wary of our investigation. Fellow practitioners: please act with prudence and rationality, righteous thoughts and righteous actions!
(To be continued)