Stop forced organ harvesting

Hsin-Ling Hsieh

As more economics textbooks analyze the market for organ transplants, students become more familiar with this topic.

No matter if the arguments are for it or against it, the basic framework behind the analysis is a voluntary human organ donation system. However, people seldom know that the transplant technology has been abused and applied to systematic forced organ harvesting for many years by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The evidence was given by medical doctors at a Congressional Hearing titled “Organ Harvesting of Religious and Political Dissidents by the Chinese Communist Party” on Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012.

Victims include many prisoners of conscience: Christians in house churches, Tibetans, Uighurs, and the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China – practitioners of Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong), a spiritual discipline of the Buddha School. Falun Dafa is based on truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, and has brought better health and inner peace to millions around the world.

Who are the perpetrators of the crimes of organ harvesting? They are officials of the CCP, acting in collaboration with surgeons (mainly in military hospitals), nurses, prison and labor camp authorities, judges, police officers and military officials.

They built a large living organ bank statewide to make huge profits from a secret business: killing innocent Chinese people for their organs.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 106 Members of Congress signed a “Dear Colleague Letter” to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, expressing their concerns about the forced organ harvesting in China and requesting the Department of State to release information on this very important matter.

More evidence and factual information were presented at a recent hearing of the Congressional Executive Commission on China on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012.

When investigators called Chinese hospitals (esp. military hospitals) to inquire about potential organ transplant for sick family members, some doctors admitted they had organs from Falun Gong practitioners, and these organs are healthier (than those from criminals).

As more evidence has been revealed, the DS-160 U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa application form has added a new question to Security and Background: Part 3: “Have you ever been directly involved in the coercive transplantation of human organs or bodily tissue?”

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, the Department of State released its 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which mentioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners for the first time since 2006, when two witnesses first brought this human rights violation to the general public’s attention.

Along with other international responses to transplant abuse in China, Israel passed a new organ transplant law that prevents Israeli citizens from going to China for organ transplantation in 2008.

Two books on this issue have been published. The first book, published in 2009 and titled “Bloody Harvest: The Killing of Falun Gong for Their Organs,” was written by David Matas, Esq., a highly respected international human rights lawyer, and Hon. David Kilgour, Esq., Canada’s previous Secretary of State, Asia-Pacific. As David Matas, Esq. stated, “This is indeed a form of evil yet to be seen on this planet.”  The second book (published in 2012) was edited by David Matas, Esq. and Dr. Torsten Trey: “State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China.”

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting is a group of medical doctors and medical ethicists who are taking actions to end this unethical practice. Dr. Arthur Caplan, a professor from New York University, initiated a petition last month to urge the White House to investigate this atrocity.

This crime against humanity deserves full attention. Getting informed can help patients and their families, doctors, hospitals, scholars, universities, as well as pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. and other countries to make informed decisions and to avoid becoming an accomplice to this crime.

Spread the word. It is time to stop forced organ harvesting.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Hsin-Ling Hsieh is an associate professor of economics at NMU.