Germany: Speakers at a Transplant Forum in Berlin Give Details on and Censure the CCP's Practice of Live Organ Harvesting (Photos)
(Minghui.org) The 24th International Congress of the Transplantation Society was held in Berlin, Germany, July 15-19, 2012. During the congress on July 18, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, a medical advocacy group, held a forum entitled "Transplant Medicine at a Crossroad."
Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), an international organization founded by physicians of different specialties based in Washington, DC, seeks to end all illegal organ trafficking practices in China and other countries.
Canadian lawyer David Matas, former chairman of the Israel Transplantation Society Dr. Jacob Lavey, and other experts spoke at the forum.
CCP-Sanctioned Organ Harvesting
Canadian lawyer David Matas at a forum in Berlin
The Chinese authorities publicly admitted for the first time in 2005 that 95% of organs for transplants come from executed prisoners. This acknowledgement proved a viewpoint that has long been speculated on by the outside world: organ harvesting is supported by the Chinese authorities.
Dr. Arne Schwarz from Switzerland once worked in a hospital for years as an IT expert. He said that illicit trade in organs exists in many countries, but in China there are two differences: one, China is the only country in which the illegal trade in organs is permitted by the government; and two, China's military hospitals reap huge profits through the organ trade.
Illegal Organ Harvesting Stems from Hatred and Greed
David Matas, a human rights lawyer based in Canada, believes that the practice of illegal organ harvesting in China originates at the “intersection of hatred and greed.” The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mobilizes state propaganda in China to incite hatred of Falun Gong practitioners. In addition, greed has been further enhanced by reducing state funding of hospitals. When hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were sent to forced labor camps, this produced an "easy and confidential source of organs." Mr. Matas said that hospitals can make huge profits from such a source.
Mr. Matas recommends a total boycott of Chinese doctors and Chinese transplantation medicine until the situation improves. He also advises doctors not to send their patients to China for organ transplants. He suggests not training Chinese surgeons in Western hospitals. In addition, all Chinese doctors who cannot guarantee that they are not operating on prisoners should be rejected, and their research should not be accepted at international conferences.
Mr. Matas added that promoting organ trafficking on the Internet should also end. He discovered a website where 19 Chinese hospitals were promoting kidney transplants.
A new book entitled State Organs was recently released. Mr. Matas is one of the co-editors. The book was created in collaboration with 12 authors and covers the latest findings in combating forced organ harvesting.
Israel Puts an End to Any Kind of Transplant Tourism
Dr. Jacob Lavey
Former chairman of the Israel Transplantation Society Dr. Jacob Lavey is a heart surgeon in Israel. He said that the Israeli parliament passed a law, which went into effect in April 2012, that insurance companies are forbidden to reimburse patients for any kind of transplants performed abroad.
Research Work in China Thoroughly Reviewed
Dr. Lavey mentioned some further progress: For example, most of the international Transplantation Societies adopted a provision that prohibits membership to anyone who was involved in illegal organ harvesting. In addition, their academic work will be shunned. Ärzteblatt, the official journal of the German Medical Association, reported that for this Congress, research work in China had been thoroughly reviewed and contained only basic scientific material. Most professionals specializing in transplantation have not accepted any work based on data from China.
"We must take a position, or our own ethical principles disintegrate"
Dr. Harold King believes that live organ harvesting is a “terrible contradiction the fundamentals of medicine... to save lives.”
Dr. Harold King, a dentist and a member of DAFOH in France, said that since the number of transplants each year largely exceeds the number of executions, the CCP's official version of the source of organs simply cannot stand.
He believes that since 2001, most organs have come from prisoners of conscience. The vast majority are Falun Gong practitioners who are arbitrarily arrested. They are considered healthy and are at the disposal of the state, held in the hundreds of thousands in forced labor camps.
Dr. King pointed out, “China is the only country in the world where almost every kind of organ for every blood type can be attained within two weeks. They even guarantee a fast replacement if necessary.
"We must take a position, or our own ethical principles disintegrate," said Dr. Harold King,
Western Drug Companies Implicated in Crimes of Live Organ Harvesting
Dr. Arne Schwarz from Switzerland believes that Western pharmaceutical companies are implicated in the crimes of live organ harvesting
Dr. Arne Schwarz is an IT expert from Switzerland and an expert on research in medical literature. He specifically noted that Western pharmaceutical companies are implicated in the illegal practice of transplantation.
Dr. Schwarz's data shows that between 2004 and 2010, Western pharmaceutical companies tested drugs on 1200 cases of organ transplants. Several hospitals in China have been implicated in the death of Falun Gong practitioners due to removal of an organ.
In 2005, a journalist from the Business Journal (Handelsblatt) interviewed former Roche executive and current President of the Board of Directors Franz Humer as to why the company is allowed to test this medicine in China. Humer replied that, contrary to Japan, in China there are no ethical or cultural barriers to transplantation medicine.
Dr. Schwarz asked Roche in September 2009 where the transplanted organs on which they were conducting clinical trials came from. The company replied by letter: "Roche is not in charge of the supply of organs. The anonymity of private sector and donors' personal information is protected by law. Roche is therefore not entitled to investigate the origin and source of transplanted organs. "
Dr. Schwarz reminded the audience that the World Health Organization for organ transplants prescribe a voluntary approach and transparency. Chinese authorities will not allow any onsite verification, which is a violation of the principle of transparency.
Other Belief Groups Are Also Victims
American writer Ethan Gutmann describes live organ harvesting as "a crime against all humanity"
Mr. Ethan Gutmann is the author of the award-winning book Losing the New China. Mr. Gutmann interviewed more than 30 witnesses who are directly or indirectly involved in the removal of organs, which he called "a crime against all humanity."
A respected Taiwanese surgeon told Gutmann, "with no small degree of fear," that many of his patients had gotten organs from Falun Gong practitioners in China.
There are some indications that the illegal organ harvesting in China peaked in 2006, but there are still no signs that this criminal activity is about to end. Gutmann calculates that at least 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners had been killed for their organs by 2008. He also noted that other groups—Tibetans, Uighurs, and some Christians—have also fallen victim to state-organized killing for organs.
He noted that in November 2010 the Chinese authorities announced that they would end organ harvesting from executed prisoners in 3 to 4 years. But they said nothing about political prisoners.