On March 5th of this year, media from mainland China promoted China as a "Global Centre for Organ Transplant." Family members of Korean patients said, "It is not hard to get an organ transplant. The waiting time after a regular physical checkup is about one week". The medical practice and theoretical research on liver transplants in mainland China have not been published in any of the top international medical journals. One most important reason for this may be that these researchers cannot declare who the organ donors actually are.
The number of foreigners having organ transplants in China has skyrocketed since 2002
On March 5th, 2006, in the focus section, page 19 of Movie, TV and Books Weekly published by the Changchun Daily Newspaper Group, there was a full page article entitled, "China has Become the Global Centre for Organ Transplant." The author of the article is a reporter named Zhan Yanhui. This article mentioned that according to incomplete statistics, over 3000 Koreans have come to China for organ transplants in the past 3 years. China's organ transplant patients from other countries and regions also numbered over 1000 per year. According to this same article, the Korean Daily reported that the "Korean Organ Transplant Association" has conducted a survey on patients who went to China for transplants. The result shows that in 1999 only two patients received transplants in China, and in 2000 only one patient received a transplant. By 2001 four patients had received transplanted organs in China and that number has sharply increased since 2002.
Executive director of the Korean Organ Transplant Association, He Zhongyuan, who also works for the Hospital at Seoul National University of South Korea, pointed out that the number of patients included in the survey was only "the tip of the iceberg", and the actual numbers might be much higher.
A director of a hospital in Beijing said, "Korean organ transplant patients in major hospitals in Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou number between 70 and 80 per month. If smaller hospitals are also accounted for, up to 1000 Korean patients have had organ transplant operations in China annually. This number does not cover the many who come from Japan, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United States and Canada.
The article, "China has Become the Global Centre for Organ Transplant", mentioned that Israeli media reported that at present around 30 Israeli patients go to China for organ transplants per month.
The number of designated beds at the Tianjin Organ Transplant Centre have increased
According to the article, the Transplant Department of Tianjin #1 General Hospital is located on the bank of River Jin at southwestern Tianjin, also known as the Oriental Organ Transplant Centre. It can be claimed as the largest organ transplant centre in the world. Nursing Director Li Lian told the reporter, "The hospital started accepting large numbers of Korean patients in 2002, resulting in a shortage of beds in Tianjin #1 General Hospital. The management designated floors 4-7 of the 12-story Hospital building for transplant patients." Besides that, the Oriental Organ Transplant Centre has also borrowed the 8th floor of the International Cardiovascular Hospital to be used for Korean patients. Meanwhile it has converted the 24th and 25th floors of a nearby hotel into wards for patients waiting for transplants. Despite these efforts, beds are still in short supply. Now the main building of the Oriental Organ Transplant Centre, constructed by the Hospital, is about to be completed. It has 500 more beds and is expected to open its doors sometime in May, 2006.
According to the article, public statistics show that the number of patients going to this hospital from China and abroad has risen sharply. Most of them come from nearly 20 countries and regions, including Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. The cafeteria on the 4th floor of the Hospital has become an "international conference club" with patients of different races sharing their experiences of medical treatment.
Patients claim that the organs in China are "in abundant supply" and "of excellent quality." The article states that, "China has become the Global Centre for Organ Transplant." On December 17th, 2005, 4 days after liver transplant surgery, a Korean patient told a reporter that in Korea, it is very difficult to obtain an organ for transplant. However, by the end of 2004, the Oriental Organ Transplant Centre had performed 1500 liver transplants, around 800 kidney transplants, as well as numerous cornea transplants. In the year 2004 alone, the Centre has performed around 900 liver and kidney transplants. By December 16th, 2005, 597 cases of liver transplants alone had been performed there. However, by December 30th, the number had risen to 650, indicating that 53 cases were performed in two weeks. Family members of patients revealed that as many as 24 liver and kidney transplants were performed in one day.
The article mentioned that a family member of a Korean patient told the reporter, "The most important thing is that there is no such "abundant source" of livers in Korea. In Korea, patients can only have a partial-liver transplant, while in mainland China, they can get a complete liver transplant. What's more, the quality of organs are said to be "excellent".
The organs are immediately available but the source of "donors" is questionable
According to the above referenced article, a family member of a Korean patient said that it is not hard to wait for an organ transplant in Tianjin; the waiting period after a regular physical checkup is only about one week.
At the 4th-floor cafeteria of Tianjin #1 General Hospital, some family members of patients often get together to exchange information. They have heard that most "donors" are between twenty and thirty years old, but the exact identity of these "donors" are un-traceable.
An anonymous doctor in the Hospital revealed to the reporter that the majority of donors are "prisoners who have death sentences." The donors' cause of death are all "acute brain injuries" on registration forms of organ donors that the Hospital provides to patients after they are discharged. Shen Zhongyang of the Oriental Organ Transplant Centre neither confirmed nor denied this when asked by the reporter. The article states that the extensive medical practice and theoretical research of liver transplant in mainland China has not appeared in any top international medical journals. The reason for this is thought to be that the authors of these research papers in mainland China cannot identify the "donors" of organs being transplanted.
In traditional Chinese culture, a corpse needs to be kept whole. Even after execution of criminals where organs may have been damaged, the body parts have to be buried together. How many people die of "acute brain injury" in mainland China annually? How many family members of executed prisoners are willing to donate or sell the organs? In mainland China, even with a person's consent to donate organs after death, family members will oppose this strongly and thus they are not likely to keep the promise after death. Where on earth do so many live "donors" mentioned in the article come from? Doesn't the recent addition of 500 beds in the new Oriental Organ Transplant Centre building imply that there is a need for a great number of "donors"? Where do the "donors" come from?
Witness claims that numerous organs are removed from live-bodies at Sujiatun Concentration Camp in Shenyang City
Since the recent exposure of the existence of the Sujiatun Concentration Camp, a staff member who had worked at the Camp claims that the Concentration Camp is located at Liaoning Province Thrombus Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine in Sujiatun, Shenyang City. Around six thousand Falun Gong practitioners have been secretly detained there since 2001 and no one has come out alive. Numerous criminal cases of removing organs such as kidneys, livers and corneas from the live bodies of Falun Gong practitioners have taken place in the Hospital. Right after the forced organ removal, the live-bodies of Falun Gong practitioners have been cremated secretly in a crematory converted from a water heater room.
According to the witness, most Falun Gong practitioners here have been transferred from Dabei Prison, Masanjia Labour Camp and other prisons in Shenyang. Some practitioners were illegally arrested from parks and homes. Formal certificates of arrest for practitioners of Falun Gong were never issued at the time of the arrest and family members are not aware of the situation. Some practitioners are even anonymous. Some of these arrested Falun Gong practitioners were physically weak and some were strong. Some previously healthy Falun Gong practitioners were secretly injected with certain drugs for mental illness, causing disorientation. They are then transferred to Sujiatun to suffer more torture until their organs are removed. They are finally cremated to get rid of evidence.
This witness said that due to the CCP's policy of "No consequences if Falun Gong practitioners are beaten to death", the death of Falun Gong practitioners is not an important issue in CCP prisons. The medical workers are told that these practitioners died because of killing others or were about to die because of going astray in practise. Thus the medical staff do not have much moral concern when removing organs.
Witness claims the large scale live-organ removal is a "national crime"
The witness said that a kidney can sell for between US$30,000 to US$100,000 and the trade is highly profitable. The profiteers are not limited to high-level hospital staff and the Health Department officials of the CCP. This is a national crime with group involvement and profiting by government officials, doctors and organ traders. Because no one has come out alive since 2001, three-quarters of the six thousand or-so Falun Gong practitioners have died after their hearts, kidney, cornea and skin were removed, and their bodies destroyed.
This former Hospital staff member is living outside of China. One of her relatives was a surgeon who removed organs from Falun Gong practitioners. She believes that there are around two thousand Falun Gong practitioners hidden in the Hospital. She is afraid that the CCP authorities will destroy the evidence and silence the witnesses by killing them.
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