Advocacy group Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting says it has made headway in reducing transplant tourism to China. Members spoke at an event on Sunday during the American Transplant Congress in Boston. They detailed the Chinese regime’s forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.
Israeli heart surgeon Dr. Jacob Lavee has advocated against forced organ harvesting since 2005. [Jacob Lavee, M.D., Former President of Israel Transplantation Society]:
“So my story starts in 2005 when I was approached one day by a patient of mine, with a very unusual message: that he was fed up with an endless wait for a suitable heart donor, and was told by his medical insurance company to come to China in two weeks’ time, as he was scheduled to undergo a heart transplantation on a specific day.”
This sounded off alarm bells for Dr. Lavee. As a heart surgeon, he knew that a heart could not last long outside the human body. That meant an arrangement in advance like this would only be possible if someone were scheduled to give up a heart on the day of the transplant. In other words, a death was planned.
Soon afterwards, Canadian rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian MP David Kilgour published a report on the Chines regime harvesting organs from living prisoners of conscience—members of the Falun Gong meditation practice.
Since then, Dr. Lavee has urged transplant professionals to stop transplant tourism to China. And it worked in his home country.
“And brought transplant tourism from Israel to China since 2008 to a complete and abrupt halt.”
David Matas, the co-author of the organ harvesting report, says there has been a drop in transplant tourism to China. But an increase in domestic transplant procedures means overall numbers have remained the same.
The Chinese regime has publicly acknowledged taking organs from executed prisoners. Rights groups point out this source alone is not sufficient to support the large number of transplants being performed in the country.