Why Is the World Turning a Blind Eye to Forced Organ Harvesting in China?

A Chinese surgeon harvesting an organ.

Organ harvesting supplies a state-run transplant industry where one out of five transplant recipients is believed to be from overseas. (Image: via Pixabay)

For most of us, the state-sanctioned killing of prisoners of conscience in China for the sole purpose of forced organ harvesting would be a red line issue.

Yet, it doesn’t even get the attention it deserves. Is that because the evidence of this crime is that flimsy? No, there’s more than enough evidence confirming that it is factual. That includes independent investigators finding that the majority of organs used for transplants are not taken from convicted criminals, but from prisoners of conscience, mainly from Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Christians.

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The heart of why no fuss is being made in the West, says a medical ethics professor, is that there’s a lack of political will to deal with it because it involves money.

“It’s the dollar signs… The dollar bills, the currency is what’s open and makes relationships between countries, and other things often take a back seat,” said Professor Katrina Bramstedt of Bond University in Australia.

“Other things being human rights, other things being morality and ethics, and the right thing to do. The dollar often reigns supreme, and I think we see that even in situations of medicine,” she told ABC radio.

Forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, mainly from Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Christians, supplies the majority of organs used for transplants in China .
The majority of organs used for transplants are not taken from convicted criminals, but from prisoners of conscience, mainly from Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Christians. (Image: Pimages via Dreamstime)

Bramstedt participated in the award-­winning documentary Hard to Believe, which looks at forced organ harvesting in China. The film was screened on PBS in America and shown in Australia at the New South Wales State Parliament where Bramstedt also spoke.

Also featured in the documentary is Enver Tohti, a surgeon who participated in forced organ harvesting.

“He reveals that he did witness and participate in this practice of forced harvesting from people who aren’t donors and felt very regretful about it, and very traumatized by the experience,” Bramstedt said.

“He has been ostracized by his community within China, in terms of the medical community and the government. He can’t get work in his field as a trained surgeon, so he’s a bus driver — it’s humiliating for him. He has so much regret and sadness about what happened.”

Most of the people targeted for forced organ harvesting have spiritual beliefs

Given that most of the people targeted for forced organ harvesting have spiritual beliefs, it makes the forced organ harvesting issue not only an ethical one but also a religious issue.

“People who choose to get their source of strength from a source that is not the Chinese government, and that is seen as a threat to the government, so they target those people,” Bramstedt said about the victims of forced harvesting.

When Bramstedt was asked by the ABC journalist if the Chinese communist government had any shame in what they are doing, she said: “No, they seem to have a different code of ethics about human values, human dignity, and human worth.”

There are estimates that Chinese hospitals are harvesting around 11,000 organs per year, and there is no real indication that the practice will stop anytime soon, despite Chinese officialdom saying otherwise.

This episode of China Uncensored is about how the communist regime has been lying about ending organ harvesting from executed prisoners:

Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh, M.D., from the University of Sydney, says the world should not wait for the Chinese government to reform itself.

“Some would suggest that Chinese health officials have promised to reform, and therefore they should be welcomed into the medical community. I believe this is premature and unwarranted,” Singh said at the screening of Hard to Believe in Sydney.

“There is no evidence that supports the Chinese medical authorities claim that all harvesting of prisoners stopped on January 1, 2015.  Within the military hospitals, the hiring of dedicated surgical teams to harvest organs has accelerated markedly in the last five years,” she said.

“And a Western doctor was recently assured by a Chinese military hospital surgeon that prisoners are still being slaughtered for organs,” she added.

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