Minnesota: Legislators Voice Concern Over Forced Organ Harvesting in China
(Minghui.org) In May 2019, members of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate sent official letters to the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) expressing concern over forced organ harvesting in China.
The letters from the House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate, written by Representative Nels Pierson (R-Stewartville) and Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), were supported by 77 House and Senate co-signers, two of whom are practicing physicians. Both letters expressed concern over Minnesota residents obtaining unethically sourced organs from countries such as China and also mentioned concern over, “…Chinese medical personnel who are trained in Minnesota that may assist in forced organ harvesting.”
The MMA is a non-profit professional association that represents Minnesota physicians, residents, and medical students.
From a Minnesota government press release:
“We need a plan and guideline to prevent anyone from profiting from this horrendous practice in China,” said Sen. Abeler (R-Anoka). “It is vital that we continue to condemn forced harvesting and discourage our citizens from taking advantage of this crime against humanity. Senator Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights) declared, “This is a serious human rights issue and we all need to take a vocal stand on this practice.”
The Minnesota legislature has focused on the issue of the persecution and forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners since 2014. In that year, members of the Minnesota House of Representatives wrote a letter to the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The letter inquired about any potential collaboration between China and Minnesota regarding organ transplantation.
In May 2016, the Minnesota Senate unanimously passed Senate resolution SF 2090, which called on “The Government of the People's Republic of China to immediately end the practice of organ harvesting from all prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and explicitly from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.”
In 2018, over 100 Minnesota legislators signed an open letter to Chinese president Xi Jinping, urging him to end the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Resolutions regarding the persecution of Falun Gong have also been introduced in the 91st Minnesota legislature (2019-2020). SF 2014 in the Senate and HF 2500 in the House of Representatives currently have great support from Minnesota senators and representatives.
Below is the Press Release from Minnesota Legislators.
(ST. PAUL, MN) -Forced organ harvesting is the removal of organs from a living or deceased individual without consent. It is a thriving practice in prisons in China. The Chinese government is utilizing their prison population, particularly those that make up religious minorities such as the Falun Dafa/Gong, to prop up the illegal organ harvesting industry. The Minnesota House and Senate are working to raise awareness against this issue.
A letter signed by 77 legislators sent to the Minnesota Medical Association asks them to take a position on the practice of forced organ harvesting and the patients from Minnesota that may travel to China to take advantage of the transplant availability. “We need a plan and guideline to prevent anyone from profiting from this horrendous practice in China,” said Sen. Abeler (R-Anoka). “It is vital that we continue to condemn forced harvesting and discourage our citizens from taking advantage of this crime against humanity.” Senator Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights) declared, “This is a serious human rights issue and we all need to take a vocal stand on this practice.”
Minnesota and the U.S. House of Representatives have both passed resolutions against the practice but there is still a lot of work to be done. It starts with raising awareness and asking those in the medical field to speak out and develop plans to fight against the current system. Representative Nels Pierson (R-Stewartville) added, "My father was a heart transplant recipient, so I know firsthand the importance of focusing our efforts on supporting our citizens in need of transplants. But forced organ harvesting is an egregious practice, and we must fight to stop it and protect the rights of those who are subjected to this unethical treatment."
Below is the letter from the Minnesota House. The Minnesota Senate also sent a similar letter.
April, 2019CEO Janet SilversmithMinnesota Medical Association
Dear Mrs. Silversmith,
We wish to inquire with the Minnesota Medical Association regarding our concerns about Minnesota patients getting unethically sourced organ transplants in countries such as China. As well as, Chinese medical personnel who are trained in Minnesota that may assist in forced organ harvesting.
A guideline of preventative measures will be greatly appreciated in supporting our efforts to prevent Minnesota patients going to foreign nations to get an unethically sourced organ transplants and to Chinese medical personnel who are trained in Minnesota that support this practice when returning to their home nation.
According to the investigative report “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter-An Update,” released by investigators David Kilgour, David Matas, and Ethan Gutmann in 2016, the organ transplant industry in China performs a very large number of organ transplants per year, and the Chinese Communist Party engages “in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually-based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants.”
A statement by Dr. Kirk Allison, then Director of the Program in Human Rights and Health, School of Public Health Medicine at the University of Minnesota was presented In September 2006 at a congressional hearing on organ harvesting. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 343 condemning systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non- consenting prisoners of conscience in China. In May of 2016, the Minnesota State Senate unanimously passed SF2090 banning and seeking to prosecute individuals who have participated in illegal removal of human tissues or organs.
In 2018 over 100 Minnesota state legislators cosigned the letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The letter pointed out that the sourcing of organs in Chinese transplant community is not transparent, and not conducted as required by World Health Organization standards. Minnesota legislators acknowledged that President Xi is not responsible for initiating the persecution of Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, and requested President Xi to openly condemn this crime against humanity. For several years, legislators in Minnesota have been taking steps to reassure human rights and the interests of patients who need and seek transplant surgery, as well as to protect the rights and interests of those whose organs may have been procured in an unethical manner. We would ask that you respond to our inquiry.