Melbourne, Australia: Medical Professionals Urged to Stop Forced Organ Harvesting
(Minghui.org) During a meeting of The Transplant Society (TTS) in Melbourne, Australia, November 15-19, Falun Gong practitioners told many attendees about forced organ harvesting from detained practitioners in China. Many medical professionals condemned the unethical practice and called for an end to the brutality.
“It has been reported that, in China, people's organs are removed against their will, and that’s clearly something that we do not think is right,” said Christopher McGregor, Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at University College London. “So I think most people at the conference would be very concerned about that. We would hope that the Chinese government will stop this from happening.”
About 600 medical experts from nine countries attended the conference, which was held jointly by the International Pancreas & Islet Transplant Association in conjunction with the International Xenotransplantation Association and the Cell Transplant Society. All three associations operate under TTS.
Many meeting attendees and passersby read the banners and literature the practitioners were distributing and signed petitions of support.
Those Involved Should Be Held Responsible
Dr. McGregor said that many meeting participants had already heard about forced organ harvesting in China. “I don’t know if the world knows, but most people involved in this area of research and clinical activity have become aware of it in the last few years, and of course it is very disturbing.” He said nobody at this conference would support this kind of activity for whatever reason.
“I don’t know the exact circumstances surrounding this. All I know is that it's clearly not a good thing. It's not an ethical thing for the medical profession to do,” he added.
He said that anyone involved in it should be held responsible: “There should be norms and agreed-upon behaviors for people in the medical profession in any country so that those who breach the accepted standards of the profession ... are no longer permitted to practice their profession.
“We live in a society that values freedom of belief. Most of us believe it is a cornerstone of a just society.”
He said it was important to educate the public about this. “There are people all over the world who turn up like these folks here who are demonstrating quietly and drawing people’s attention to the issue. That’s a good thing, because it allows people to be aware of what’s going on.”
More Effort Needed to Stop the Atrocity
Dr. McGregor said it is important to let government officials know about it: “Awareness is a good start, and raising the awareness does reach the politicians. When politicians have discussions with other countries, they can raise their concerns.
“I think the UK and Australian governments ...would be very supportive of basic human rights of people everywhere.” He said such government officials would be against such a brutal practice.
He emphasized that everyone he knows, both at this conference and at most transplant conferences, is deeply troubled by this whole issue: “It’s not something that is arguable—it’s just simply something that should not occur.”
Time to End This State-Sanctioned Practice
Tom Kay, chairperson of the conference, said the transplantation community, including organizations such as TTS, has been paying attention to this. When the organs are obtained illegally, the Australian government needs to step in, too.
Toni, a nurse who specializes in islet cell transplant, said it was “totally unacceptable” to take organs without the donor's consent. “Because forced organ harvesting is state-sanctioned in China, it will take more effort to end it. It may be necessary to raise awareness worldwide.”
Transplantation surgeon Kyo Won Lee specializes in liver, kidney, and pancreas transplants. He said forced organ harvesting is unethical: “Chinese doctors should stop; it is unethical—they should stop doing it.”
Transplant expert William Mullay said that involuntary organ harvesting anywhere in the world should be opposed: “I think that any unethical harvesting of organs should be banned.”
Linda Tempelman from the United States said it is unethical: “I know that there are international regulations against it already.”
Dong-Sik Ham, a professor who studies transplantation in South Korea, agreed. He said organs should never be harvested without the donor's consent. “We have strict laws about this in South Korea.
“Had this happened in South Korea,” he explained, “all the medical professionals involved would end up in prison.”