Australian MP Proposes Harsh Punishments for Organ Tourism

NTD Television

An Australian Member of Parliament is proposing new legislation that would make it a criminal offense to buy trafficked organs. The New South Wales politician says it would only penalize citizens in his state, but he hopes its effects will be global.

[David Shoebridge, Member of New South Wales Parliament]:
“The best way we can do that is pass laws in our home countries to make it a crime to be part of that trade.”

The bill targets organ trafficking around the world, but the impact will likely be most felt by China. It’s amongst the top destinations for transplant tourism, but with no effective organ donation system, the source of organs is suspect. There is substantial evidence to suggest that state-run hospitals are killing prisoners of conscience to meet the demand of the country’s organ transplant business. The largest group of victims identified are persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

Shoebridge says these types of state-sanctioned deaths should not take a back seat in keeping good trade relations with China.

[David Shoebridge, Member of New South Wales Parliament]:
“Australia and China have a very robust international trade relationship. But that’s based upon both parties’ mutual interests. We cannot allow that commercial relationship to impact on what we think is the right thing to do by way of human rights, and what we think is the necessary thing to do to stamp out a trade like unethical transplant tourism.”

If passed, the law would make it illegal to receive organs from an unwilling donor. If the removal of the organ could reasonably lead to the donor’s death, the recipient could be charged with manslaughter. The maximum jail term would be 25 years.

[David Shoebridge, Member of New South Wales Parliament]:
“We would hope that it would make people think twice before they go overseas and take an organ from someone who hasn’t voluntarily donated it.”

Shoebridge is opening his bill up for feedback. A stakeholder survey on his website will close on March 7th. He hopes to introduce the bill to the New South Wales Legislative Council this year.

Original article