Banning Transplant Tourism – Israeli Doctor Sets Example

NTD Television News

Transplant tourism has been banned in Israel since 2008 as a response to forced organ harvesting in China.

An Israeli professor, Jacob Lavee took part in the enactment of that law that prohibits Israeli citizens from getting organs in China for transplant surgeries. He is at a conference of the International Care Association of Organ Transplants in Taiwan sharing his experience.

Professor Jacob Lavee is a Director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Israeli Medical Center, Sheba, and the former president of Israel’s Transplant Society. Lavee now serves on the Advisory Board of an American NGO “Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting.”

[Prof. Jacob Lavee, Former President of Israel’s Transplantation Society]:
“The way I got involved in all the forced organ harvesting in China was by a patient of mine back in 2005, who one day after a year of waiting in my department came to me and told me he is fed up waiting for a heart in Israel, and he was told by his insurance company to go to China in three weeks time to get a heart transplant ahead of time, and the patient actually went to China and got his heart on the very same day that he was promised ahead of time. So this set me researching, and I found out the whole gruesome story about the use of forced organ harvesting, and later on the fact that most of the organs in China are retrieved from Falun Gong practitioners, based on the research by Kilgour and Matas.”

After the Chinese regime stared to persecute people who practice Falun Gong in 1999, China suddenly rose to be second in the world in the number of organ transplants within just five years. China does not have an effective national organ donation system and there was no explanation for the sources of the organs. Independent investigators have concluded mostly Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in labor camps, detention centers and prisons are being used as a live organ bank and killed on demand.

[Prof. Jacob Lavee, Former President of Israel’s Transplantation Society]:
“My personal motivation going into all this issue was the fact that I am the son of a father who was a refugee from a Nazi concentration camp and I told myself that we cannot repeat the same story that went on during the second world war, during the holocaust, where the entire world knew about the holocaust of the Jewish people and did nothing. Here we are knowing about the genocide of people within China, about the crime against humanity, that is taking place in China, and I needed, personally needed to do something about it.”

With Professor Lavee’s initiative in 2008 Israel became the first country in the world to approve a law that prohibits local health and insurance funds to finance patients who request to go to China for organ transplants. An Israeli high court decision also supported the law. But in Taiwan local citizens continue traveling to Mainland China for organs. Professor Lavee’s visit may bring about a change.

[Shi Chongliang, Director of Bureau of Health of Taiwan]:
“Let’s look at what other countries have done, let’s follow the world-wide consensus. We shall revise the legislation in Taiwan.”

Today Australia, Malaysia and France are considering revising their organ transplants policy.

[Prof. Jacob Lavee, Former President of Israel’s Transplantation Society]:
“By the fact that Israelis used to go to China for so many years and get organs from those persecuted prisoners over there, this was like playing an accomplice to a murder, and at least with the Israeli law we managed to disconnect the Israelis from these atrocities. Hopefully, if other nations will follow us, like here in Taiwan, eventually there will become a stop to this phenomenon.”

Prof. Lavee has been working for seven years against the practice of forced organ harvesting in China.

[Prof. Jacob Lavee, Former President of Israel’s Transplantation Society]:
“Well, the goal will be, news will finally come out of China and we will know that this persecution has been stopped, but the milestones towards this goal should be that we know more nations have blocked the way of their own candidates to go to China. So once the supply of potential candidates from all over the world to China will stop, this will definitely increase the pressure on China to stop the use of those Falun Gong practitioners.”

Original article