Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting Hold Forum in Montevideo, Uruguay: CCP Ethics Examined
(Clearwisdom.net) After hosting two successful forums in Philadelphia (USA) and Glasgow (UK), the non-profit organization "Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting” (DAFOH) held another forum in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 13, 2011. The forum, entitled "Transplant Medicine at a Crossroads,” mainly publicized conclusions drawn from research about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) harvesting organs from living prisoners of conscience, with the primary targets being Falun Gong practitioners.
DAFOH invited David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and author of the book Bloody Harvest, as well as Argentinian human rights lawyer Alejandro Cowes to speak.
The forum was held during the World Medical Association (WMA) Annual General Assembly and provided an opportunity for members of the WMA to become informed about this dramatic violation of the medical code of ethics.
In addition, DAFOH presented a resolution before the WMA Associate Members Group, stating that the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners, and especially from living practitioners of Falun Gong, violates the ethical standards of the WMA. The resolution reminded the WMA to uphold its own ethical principles and requested from its member association that the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) immediately stop the unethical harvesting of organs from executed prisoners and prisoners of conscience, or risk suspension of membership from the WMA.
During the presentation of the resolution, an unexpected statement was made by the vice-president of the Chinese Medical Association, Dr. Guoming Qi, who said that no practitioner of Falun Gong was ever executed. The constant reports about torture deaths of Falun Gong practitioners and the report Bloody Harvest by David Matas and David Kilgour would seem to suggest that Dr. Guoming Qi is lying.
It would not be the first time that Chinese authorities have lied about organ harvesting. In 2001 Dr. Wang Guoqi, a medical doctor from China, tesified before the U.S. Congress that, in China, organs were being removed from executed prisoners for the purpose of transplantation. In response, the Chinese embassy called Dr. Wang Guoqi a liar, until in 2005 Vice-Health Minister Huang Jiefu publicly admitted that, indeed, more than 90% of transplant organs come from executed prisoners.
David Kilgour: "Our conclusion was reached from the cumulative effect of ultimately 52 different kinds of proof"
David Matas, one of Canada's leading human rights lawyers, along with David Kilgour, former Secretary of State of the Government of Canada for the Asia Pacific region, began an investigation in 2006 of allegations that the CCP was harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. Their investigative report was first published in July 2006, confirming the existence of such crimes. In 2010 Mr. Matas and Mr. Kilgour published Bloody Harvest. They were subsequently nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
Kilgour told the seminar audience that since he and Matas published the first investigative report about organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, the CCP has never successfully invalidated a single line of their report. The report states, “Our conclusion was reached from the cumulative effect of ultimately 52 different kinds of proof. Each is verifiable in itself and most are incontestable. In combination, they constitute a clearly demonstrated pattern of systematic criminal wrongdoing in a country which lacks both the rule of law and independent judges.”
Kilgour added, “From the 90,000 organ transplants which Dr. Shi Bing-Yi, a government spokesman, said were done over the period 1999-2005, Matas and I deduced that those which came from reportedly executed criminals and other explained sources, and concluded that the remaining 41,500 transplants during those years came from incarcerated Falun Gong.
"A Chinese ministry of health notice in force since July 1, 2006, forbids the sale of human organs. However, since neither prisoners killed for their organs nor their families are paid for the organs, this provision is not violated by current Chinese hospital billing practices. The law requires written consent from the organ source, but no means exists for determining whether consent is obtained. The law also requires medical institutions to charge patients according to ministry standards. It is this provision that is being violated by the exorbitant fees charged foreigners. The Chinese government announced a policy on June 26, 2007, that priority for organ transplants would be given to local Chinese national patients. This policy is not a law."
Kilgour also said, “In October, 2007, the WMA entered into an agreement with the Chinese Medical Association that organs from prisoners and other individuals in custody must not be used for transplantation except for members of their immediate families.”
This agreement between the WMA and the CMA to end organ sourcing from prisoners in China except for prisoners donating organs to immediate family members, covered all prisoners and not just prisoners sentenced to death. This broader terminology means that in principle, the agreement also encompasses Falun Gong practitioners who are held in detention.
However, Dr. Yoram Blachar, the former chair of the WMA, who led the WMA delegation to China in 2007, stated that differences between the two sides remained. Kilgour urged the WMA to continue to press the Chinese Medical Association on this issue until the practice in China of killing prisoners for their organs ends entirely.
Argentinean Lawyer: “History will prove that the inconceivable is actually true”
Human rights lawyer Alejandro Cowes talked about the case he pleaded, which led Argentinian federal judge Octavio Aráoz de Lamadrid, in 2009, to issue a national and international arrest warrant for Jiang Zemin, former leader of the Chinese Communist Party, and Luo Gan, former head of the 610 Office for their roles in the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
He also argued that Argentina is still in the process of learning the full truth about its own history during dictatorship: “Twenty years ago there were some rumors about living dissidents who may have been thrown out of a plane during the dictatorship; ten years ago people started to openly talk and write about it, and now it's proven history. The same will apply to the outrageous persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.”
Uruguayan Doctor: “This is terribly shocking”
Dr. Ramón Scola, head of the Cardiology Transplant Department at the Centro Cardiacológico Americano (Hospital Americano), said this was the first time he had heard about such an outrageous situation, and that he would let his fellow colleagues know about it.
Magdalena, a young journalism student, said that she felt the issue was very serious, and planned to tell her boyfriend’s parents, who are both medical doctors, so they can learn more about it.
WMA Postpones DAFOH’s Resolution
On October 15, DAFOH's resolution on Organ Procurement in China was discussed before the WMA Associate Members Group. Some members wanted to erase the specific reference to China in order to reiterate ethical principles without stigmatizing any country in particular. Other members stated that erasing this reference was just a way to empty the resolution of its original purpose. Ultimately the Associate Members Group could not agree, and the WMA General Assembly decided to postpone the resolution vote. The resolution was referred to a commission that will discuss it and propose a new version within the next six to nine months.
It is recommended that doctors and people around the world approach their national medical associations and request that China abide by the ethical standards of the WMA and immediately end organ harvesting from executed prisoners and other detained people, including prisoners of conscience, in particular practitioners of Falun Gong. The national medical associations are members of the WMA and they have the right to express their concerns to the WMA.
“Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting” (DAFOH) is a non-profit organization that calls upon all doctors and organ transplant professionals around the world to join in its efforts to require unhindered access to detention facilities, prisons, and hospitals in China to conduct an independent investigation into organ harvesting activities in China. More information can be found at the organization's website http://www.dafoh.org.
Category: Organ Harvesting