Taiwan’s health department said on Thursday it plans to modify its organ transplant laws to criminalize organ trade and brokerage.
The main concern is illegally obtained organs in China, where authorities have been accused of killing prisoners of conscience for their organs. China is the main destination for Taiwanese patients who obtain organs overseas.
[Hsu Ming-neng, Director, Bureau of Medical Affairs, Department of Health]:
“We want to minimize the occurrence of using organs with questionable sources. We plan to discuss the amendment of organ transplant laws [during the upcoming legislative period] and we want everyone’s support.”
Hsu Ming-neng spoke during a forum in Taipei on Thursday organized by the Department of Health. On the panel was a group of five doctors and investigators from around the world. They visited Taiwan this week to highlight transplant abuse in China.
Dr Jacob Lavee from Israel discovered his patients were going to China for rapid transplants. Some were promised an organ on a certain day—something that suggests China has an “on-demand” organ supply.
He has since worked to get Israel to stop transplant tourism to China.
[Jacob Lavee, MD, Advisor, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting]:
“Those brokers who intermediate between local candidates and overseas [donors in China], that should be taken care of. That’s what we’ve done in Israel and that’s the way we’ve succeeded in Israel to stop completely the flow of Israeli patients to China.”
US-based doctor, Jianchao Xu, says a combined effort is necessary to stop forced organ harvesting in China.
[Jianchao Xu, MD, Medical Director, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting]:
“I think the public, medical community, the political field and the legal community all need to take action, because this isn’t something that doctors alone can accomplish.”
Independent investigators and human rights activists have accused the Chinese regime of profiting from forced organ harvesting. The largest groups of victims identified are persecuted Falun Gong practitioners. Detained House Christians and Uyghur minorities are also believed to be amongst those killed for their organs.