(Clearwisdom.net compilation and commentary) If viewers search for news about "organ transplant" on the Internet, one probably would receive two impressions. One is the number of organ transplant operations performed in China is second only to the U.S. The other is that organ donors in China are far from sufficient. Every year only 1 percent of patients that need liver transplants can be operated on, and less than 1 percent of patients that need kidney transplants can be operated on (which is 5-7 thousand out of half-a-million). Normally patients have to wait 6 months to one year [1] to get kidneys for transplant, and many die while waiting.

While on the other hand, some hospitals are advertising that they have sufficient organ donors, such as the Urological Department of Changhai Hospital (an affiliation of the Second Military Medical University) who emphasized on their website that "1. The donor kidneys are high quality, and the kidney functions recover rather quickly after the operation. 2. Sufficient donor sources, waiting period very short [2]" when introducing their kidney transplant operations. This kind of advertising makes people wonder where they are finding enough kidneys when the whole nation is in short?

The Shenyang City Multi-Organ Transplant Center: Kidneys for Transplant in One to Four Weeks, Livers in Less than Two Months

Located in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center (CITNAC) advertised on their website that "If you send your personal data to this center by e-mail or fax and accept the necessary body examination in Shenyang, China in order to assure a suitable donor, it may take only one month to receive a liver transplantation, the maximum waiting time being two months. As for the kidney transplantation, it may take one week to find a suitable donor, the maximum time being one month."[3]

This Center is formed by the Organ Transplant Institute under the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang (also called the Shenyang City Multi-Organ Transplant Center). Its website has Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, and Russian versions (the Chinese one has just been erased). The center is geared with international business but has mainly targeted Japanese patients. The center declared, "Although the procedure to select a donor is very strict, the transplant operation will be terminated if the doctor discovers that there is something wrong with the donor's organ. If this happens, the patient will have the option to be offered another organ donor and have the operation again in one week. As most doctors in Japan are highly trusted by their patients, if a doctor acquires high level of accomplishment in transplantation operations, we will invite him to come to our center to do the operation for you."[3]

Here we find two critical points: 1) The matching of organ transplant. If one wants to find a suitable organ within a short time, there needs to be sufficient organ sources waiting. Obviously the center has more than enough organ sources; not only can it find a donor quickly, but it can also find a second donor within one week should the first one be problematic; and 2) Considering that the center is inviting Japanese doctors to do the operations in China, this center's purpose is not how they "hope that the advanced Chinese transplant techniques will serve any needing patients," as advertised. In fact, they want its "sufficient organ sources" to serve the international society! Everyone can see the hospital's motive from the below listed foreign patients' medical cost (not including travel cost):

Kidney transplant: US $62,000
Liver transplant: US $98,000-130,000
Heart transplant: US $130,000-160,000

In caomparison, the domestic Chinese patient would normally be charged:
Kidney transplant, 50-80 thousand yuan
Liver or heart transplant, 200-400 thousands yuan

Therefore, the hospital can make a profit of ten to several hundred thousand dollars more for each foreign patient compared to a Chinese patient.

The Message Revealed from Organ Ads in China

The following is seen in the Question and Answer Section of the CITNAC webpage: [4]

Q: Are the organs for the pancreas transplant from brain death patients?

A: Our organs do not come from brain death victims because the state of the organ may not be good.

And then in 2004, the following could be found on Q&A Online of its Chinese language webpage: [5]

Question: When receiving kidney transplant, is it possible to contract other diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis? Answer: There's no need for such worry. What's important for kidney transplant is the matching of issues. Before the live body kidney transplant is performed, the donor's kidney and leukocyte will be tested to ensure the reliability of the donated kidney. Thus, it can be said that [with us] it's safer and more reliable than the kidney transplant in Japan where the organs from dead bodies are used.

To put it plainly, the Multi-Organ Transplant Center of Shenyang is trying to sell organs from live bodies of Chinese through its CITNAC!

Then, whose organs are they selling? Are there any ordinary citizens of lower social strata who are forced to sell their organs because they could not make ends meet? The answer is "no." This is because the center performs not only kidney transplants, but also liver and heart transplants. Besides, as stated above, the liver supplies of the center are adequate, too. Nobody would sell his own liver and heart. This has been confirmed by a report in China Business Daily on December 24, 2004 as well.

The report, entitled "Human Organ Ads All Over the Hospital and Kidney Supplies Are Plenty in Shenyang City, Doctors Say", documented the author's interview with a person who was trying to sell his kidney at a place near the First Affiliated Hospital of the China Medical University in Shenyang. Based on the report, it seems that the kidney seller was someone who had no way out in the "prosperous" China under the CCP rule. The article quoted Dr. Wu Gang, associate professor of Organ Transplant Department of the Hospital affiliated with the university, as saying, "The kidney supply in Shenyang is sufficient. Those kidney ads almost have no market." The subtitle for this section was "'Kidneys from live bodies' have no market."

Apparently they have other sources of kidney supply, and the quality is comparable to those taken from live bodies. At a time when there is a severe shortage of organ supplies in China and around the world, how could the Multi-Organ Transplant Center of Shenyang City and Shenyang stand out? How did they manage to have a sufficient supply of organs such that the organs from brain dead patients are not wanted and those selling their kidneys didn't have a market?

Many people were wondering if the Multi-Organ Transplant Center of Shenyang City was engaged in the dealings of organs from death-row convicts. Firstly, organs from death-row inmates do not fall under the same category as organs from live bodies; secondly, this issue involves the human rights situation in China that has long been condemned by the international medical circle and human rights groups. We first need to examine another relevant issue, namely, China's overall picture of sources for organ transplants.

Normally there are two sources of organs for transplant: one is from family members and another is from dead bodies. For example, because of traditional values, kidneys taken from live bodies of family members account for a very small portion currently. According to the report "Transplantation: in progress or in retrogress", published in Modern Business Daily of Beijing on June 10, 2004, transplant surgery using kidneys from family members represents about 1.5 percent of the total.

As for organ supply from the dead, China does not have legislation on brain death, nor does it practice a nationwide registration system as western nations do. For instance, in the U.S., the intention to donate organs is indicated in the application for a driver's license. Additionally, in China, donation of organs is a notion far from being accepted by the population. So citizens who are willing to donate their organs upon death are very few.

In other nations, almost all organs used in transplant are from brain dead patients. According to medical experts, when the heartbeat of a patient stops, his liver will stop functioning within five minutes and his kidney can keep working only up to half an hour. Therefore, the patient whose heartbeat has stopped basically has no use for a transplant[6] if the transplant surgery cannot be performed immediately. But with a human body whose brain has died, other than the brain and the known diseased parts, all other organs can be used in transplant surgery for other patients. Most countries with an advanced medical science have developed a legal definition of brain death that will ensure the organ transplant is performed under the protection of law.

In China, in order to avoid misjudgment of death, the pronounced dead body by the hospital is usually placed in a morgue for 24 hours. If the deceased and his family both agreed to donate organs, most organs would have become useless by then.[7] On March 29, 2005, Chutian Urban Daily published an article entitled "Two Lives Saved in China's First Transplant Using Organs from Brain Dead Body", which reported the first case in China of a brain dead donor of organs. This was actually done in a legal vacuum, but it also indicated that organ transplants prior to that had never used organs from brain dead donors.

So, the organs China uses for transplant, especially organs that are sensitive to deficiency of warm blood such as heart, liver, and kidney, must mainly come from death-row inmates.

According to the article "Organ Transplant: An Area that Needs Fast Regulations," carried in the 147th issue of Finance Journal in December 2005, Deputy Health Minister of China Huang Jiefu admitted for the first time at a WHO meeting held in Manila from November 7 to 9 that at present most organs China uses for transplant come from death-row convicts. However, harvesting organs from death-row convicts are widely condemned by the international community. In 1996, at a conference organized by the Organ Transplant Association in Montreal, medical specialists and scholars noted that if the medical community was involved in the use of organs from death row inmates, it would lead to the legalization of killing. Even in China, there are legal experts who are opposed to such practices. On July 4, 2005, in an interview with Phoenix Weekly , a Chinese journal, Mr. Qu Xinjiu, a professor of criminal law at the China University of Political Science and Law, said that an insurmountable conflict exists between the status of a death-row convict and his free decision. For a death-row inmate who is in a vulnerable position, even though he expresses his willingness to donate his organs, that expression is not necessarily his true will. Chinese doctors are despised and ridiculed among their international counterparts for using organs from death-row convicts.

Under normal circumstances, after a death-row prisoner is executed, the examination by doctors to determine if the prisoner is legally dead would take several minutes and even more than ten minutes. This includes a verification that the heartbeat and breathing have stopped and cannot be recovered, and their pupils are dilated and cannot reflect light. At this point, many internal organs, at least heart and liver, will have lost their value for transplant. This has led to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) silent consent or even encouragement for the cruel operation of opening the prisoners' stomachs for organ harvesting before they have stopped breathing. In recent years, China has as many as 2,000-3,000 liver transplants each year. Considering that the liver function is lost five minutes after the heart stops beating, this figure has to lead one to question how these livers were removed. On March 23, The Epoch Times (Chinese edition) published an article about the recollection of medical doctor Lin Quan, who now lives overseas. Doctor Lin mentioned a common practice in CCP-controlled China that death-row prisoners' internal organs were removed before they stopped breathing. After this article was published, many readers who are medical staff came out as witnesses to confirm this practice.

On March 20, an Epoch Times correspondent made phone calls to the General Hospital of Shenyang Military District (also called the Shenyang General Army Hospital), the No. 463 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army (also called the Central Air Force Hospital of Shenyang Military District), and Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing, inquiring about organ transplants. Hospital staff informed the correspondent that except for a few cases of relatives as donors, kidneys used in all other transplant surgeries come from prisoners and harvested from live bodies.

Shenyang Has a Large Organ Supply Source Independent of Organs From Prisoners

At present, we know the following cruel facts: most organs for transplants in China come from prisoners, and a large number of them have been removed from prisoners when their hearts were still beating. Organs taken this way may be called "live organs." Referring back to our previous question: In Shenyang City, especially Shenyang Multi-Organ Transplant Center, are there organs belonging to this kind of "live organs"? Take kidney transplant as an example. In China, patients usually have to wait for six months to a year for a kidney transplant, but in CITNAC of the Multi-Organ Transplant Center, patients only have to wait for a week to a month for kidney transplant, and the kidneys are not any inferior than those live ones sold by the poor people.

In other words, the supply for live kidneys in Shenyang is at least ten times more than the average supply in China. Since death-row prisoners are spread out over different areas of China, Shenyang City would not be able to have an abundance, even if the kidneys of all death-row prisoners were removed while still alive. Furthermore, hospitals capable of kidney transplants are located widely in the 29 provinces, municipalities and regions, with 106 of them registered with such ability in 2001. Therefore, facing a widespread shortage of kidneys, all hospitals must be locking in ahead of time kidney sources from prisoners.

For hospitals, organ transplants are not only profitable, the number of transplant operations is also used as an important criterion for hospital evaluation. Therefore, hospitals in other regions of China will be looking for organs as well. All these factors determine that Sheyang City cannot possibly have large number of organs from local prisoners over an extended period of time.

Moreover, the CITNAC website indicates that if the patient experience problems with the first organ, they will provide the second organ within a week. This "second organ" cannot be coming from prisoners. The Chinese court usually executes prisoners in large numbers, and it is rare to find two groups of prisoners executed within a week. Thus, prisoners cannot become a stable supply for organs in emergency situations. Even under urgent situations, the organs still need to be matched. Therefore, the supply of live organs in Shengyang Multi-Organ Transplant Center is larger than what we can imagine.

From the above analyses, we can only reach one chilling conclusion: Shenyang City, especially Shengyang Multi-Organ Transplant Center, has a large organ supply source independent of organs from prisoners, and the center is selling these live organs to the international community!

The Peculiarities of Living Organs Provided by the Shenyang Multi-Organ Transplantation Center

On the Chinese webpage of the CITNAC in 2004, there was a question and answer emphasizing the uniqueness of the living organs provided.[5]

Question: Is it true that despite a successful transplant operation, post operation life span is only 2-3 years? Answer: Indeed we are often asked such questions but this only happens to kidney transplants from brain dead donors developed in Japan. This is totally different from living kidney transplant operations performed in China. 20 years ago, China started to perform living kidney transplantation. At present, already 5000 patients have gone through such transplant operations.

In medical terms, a live kidney transplant refers to the transplant of kidney organs donated by family members. The lifespan of the transplanted kidneys are often longer compared to kidneys from brain dead donors. This is mainly because of 1) better histo-compatibility between the recipient and donor due to blood relations; 2) the transplant kidney is of high quality - the donor and recipient can be arranged to be in close proximity when the operation is carried out, thus greatly reducing the time required to remove the kidney from the live donor and transplant it to the recipient, significantly reducing warm ischemia time, to a great extent, preventing kidney ischemia/reperfusion injury thereby ensuring the high quality of the transplant kidney. CITNAC claims that it utilizes live kidney transplant, a source better than the brain death donor, and hence the kidney donors from blood related ties are not a main source of CITNAC's kidney supply. Then the Shenyang City Multi-Organ Transplant Centre must have another way to arrange an appropriate time and place to extract transplant organs to its convenience thus enabling the transplant operation to finish in the quickest possible time. So who are these organ donors? Why do they have no control over their own organs or even their lives at the mercy of others?

Two witnesses testified on March 8 & 17, respectively, that there is a secret underground concentration camp in the Liaoning Provincial Thrombosis Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, Sujiatun District, Shenyang City brutally harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners for a profit and cremating the bodies to remove evidence.

Subsequently, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) verified this incident from different sources. A veteran military doctor from the army logistics service in the Shenyang military zone also came forward and testified: Sujiatun underground concentration camp does exist, organ harvesting is routine, cremating the bodies or even living people is also common and Sujiatun is only one of 36 such camps throughout China.

A source who is known only as "veteran military doctor" said the communist regime has presently declared Falun Gong practitioners to be "class enemies;" that is, they are targets for the most vicious persecution. According to him, the latest directive from the central communist party government is to deal with Falun Gong practitioners as enemies and treat them according to the necessity for economic development. This means they don't have to be treated as humans, but as raw materials for final products.


[1] June 20, 2002 Reprinted on sina.com from chinanews.com: "5500 successful kidney transplant cases in China last year, experts urge family members to donate kidneys"
Original webpage has been removed (Editor's note: this page was resumed after publication of this article), but its contents can be viewed on the following url: http://web.archive.org/web/20030820030311/news.sina.com.cn/c/2002-06-21/0706612024.html

[2] http://www.chhospital.com.cn/dept/dept4/special/special4.htm original article has been removed but its contents can be viewed on the following url: http://web.archive.org/web/20050302090111/www.chhospital.com.cn/dept/dept4/special/special4.htm

[3] The Chinese webpage has been removed, English url: http://en.zoukiishoku.com/list/volunteer.htm

[4] http://en.zoukiishoku.com/list/qa7.htm

[5] http://zoukiishoku.com/cn/wenda/index.htm :
The original web page has been removed, but its contents can be found on the following link:

[6] June 5, 2005 eastday.com: China plans to introduce human organ transplant regulations to increase organ supplies:

[7] August 29, 2003 ycwb.com - New Express Paper: "Unwarranted reputation for no legislation on "brain death" and organ transplant law.

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