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Mindset an obstacle to organ transplants in China

Strait Times Dec 14The Straits Times | December 14, 2014
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By Rachel Chang

BEIJING - Madam Chen Xiu's kidneys have been failing for 12 years.

While the 52-year-old former gynaecologist's life is now dominated by thrice-weekly dialysis sessions that cost 800 yuan (S$170) each time, she refuses to have her husband or her three children - aged 14, 15 and 24 - donate their kidneys to her.

"She thinks that our health will suffer and she won't allow it," said eldest daughter Chen Lili, an administrative assistant in Shaanxi province where the family lives. "So we just keep waiting for a kidney to come from somewhere."

Such a mindset is at the root of a longstanding organ shortage in China, where about 300,000 patients are in need of organs every year, but only 10,000 transplants are carried out.

The dire state of affairs is about to get much worse. About a week ago, China announced it will stop its controversial practice of transplanting organs from executed prisoners from Jan 1 next year. This came after years of procrastination...

Read the complete article here.

Read the DICG statement commenting on news of the policy change in China here.

Media reports announcing an end to the use of organs from executed prisoners in China are misleading

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Media reports announcing an end to the use of organs from executed prisoners in China are misleading

December 13, 2014

Evidently relying upon statements made during a plenum of the Chinese State Council in October 2014, international media have reported that the Chinese government has promised that organs for transplantation will no longer be obtained from executed prisoners as of January 1, 2015.1,2 The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) welcomes this announcement and applauds the leadership of Chinese colleagues to accomplish this objective, but for several reasons remains skeptical about the promised timeline.

First, the announcement was not accompanied by formal assurance that the Hangzhou Resolution, developed by Chinese transplant professionals and government officials in 2013, is indeed being implemented.3 The objectives of the Hangzhou Resolution include:

  • establishing credentials for Chinese transplant professionals,
  • banning the sale or purchase of human organs,
  • preventing organ trafficking and transplant tourism, and
  • treating transplantable organs as a national resource for Chinese patients...

Read the complete statement here.

Human trafficking: Trade of human organs will thrive unless culprits are punished: Dr Rizvi

Pakistan tribuneThe Express Tribune | Dec 10, 2014
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By Ishrat Ansari

KARACHI: The recent case of human trafficking for illegal organ transplant worries Dr Adeeb Rizvi, who fears this trade will thrive unless the culprits are punished.

“The government needs to charge those two men arrested from Jinnah International Airport,” said the SIUT founding director at a press briefing organised by the Transplantation Society of Pakistan (TSP) in collaboration with Sindh Human Organ and Tissue Transplantation Authority (Hota) at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) on Wednesday.

A couple of decades ago, Pakistan was the largest market for the trafficking of human organs in the world, Dr Rizvi pointed out. The selling and buying of human organs is against Islam and is also illegal, he added.

For their part, the monitoring committee of the transplantation society has requested the health secretary, Iqbal Hussain Durrani, to file a complaint against the two men, Rizwan Ahmed and Sarfaraz Bhatti, who were caught on their way to Mauritius via Dubai. They were planning to go to India through this route for an illegal kidney transplant...

Iran restricts organ transplants

Iran Al MonitorAl-Monitor | October 10, 2014
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By Mehrnaz Samimi

Over 25,000 Iranian patients are on the waiting list for receiving an organ, according to the latest statistics that Iran’s Ministry of Health has announced. Official statistics show that every day, seven to 10 patients on this list die in dire need of an organ transplant.

The administration has increased its efforts to inform and educate people to willingly become donors, which is why the donor card system was created. A section that has also been added to driver’s licenses in Iran that indicates the license holder’s decision to donate his/her organs.

“Starting on Sept. 21, 2014, no more organ transplant operations will be performed on non-Iranians,” Iranian officials announced in September.

The major reason this decision was made, according to the Ministry of Health, was that the number of foreign citizens who have undergone organ transplant surgery in Iran — 608 legally documented over the past 10 years — was already high, considering the number of Iranian patients in critical condition...

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