China may be stealing organs from prisoners
A staggering 99 percent of the papers reviewed did not report whether the organ donor had given consent.
SYDNEY — New research with substantial evidence is accusing China of stealing organs from prisoners, reports The Conversation.
The study published in the medical journal BMJ Open reviewed 445 medical papers published between January 2000 and April 2017.
The collected data included a total of 85,477 transplants.
Organs and transplants are commonplace in medical research, however, three criteria must be met in order for such papers to be published: the biological material cannot come from executed prisoners, it must be approved by a human research ethics committee and it must include the donor's consent.
The research found that the majority of the over 85,000 papers reviewed did not comply with these standards.
Results showed that 92.5 percent of the papers did not reveal whether or not the organs used were from executed prisoners. A staggering 99 percent did not report whether the organ donor had given consent. Surprisingly, 73 percent of the papers claimed to have been approved by an ethics committee.
But where do these organs come from? Nineteen papers published before 2010 reported that the organs they used were from voluntary donors, however, China did not have a deceased organ donor program until 2010.
This has led authors of the study to believe that the organs that were not reported were likely obtained through forced organ harvesting of both corrupt prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
The authors are proposing the withdrawal of the papers that do not conform to international ethical standards. They are also calling the transplant community to assemble to create new policies for future papers.
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