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August 25, 2015
By: Charmaine Santos
Edited by: Juliana Zhu, Esq.
China has become the destination for illegal organ transplantation for people who want a quick transplant instead of waiting months or possibly years for an organ. Human rights lawyer David Matas and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, politician and lawyer David Kilgour, have investigated organ trafficking in China. Both Matas and Kilgour are convinced that the organs come from members of the Falun Gong movement, a “religious” group banned by the Chinese government with many followers. David Matas says, “It’s estimated, according to government of China’s statistics, between 70 and 100 million people, which was then more than the membership of the Communist Party of China[JZ1] .” Thousands of members have been detained by authorities, investigators claim.
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Former hospital worker Annie says, “I testify to the atrocious crime that the hospital committed in removing livers and corneas from living Falun Gong members.” At the time, her husband was a surgeon who was responsible for removing organs. “Some of them were still alive when they were secretly burnt in the incinerator that was in the boiler room,” she declares. Travelling from Taiwan for a kidney transplant, patient Rourou Zhuang professes, “I went to the mainland on 25 June. So I waited two to three weeks.” It wasn’t until later when Zhuang found out her donor could have been killed in order for her to get an organ transplant.
The Chinese government refutes the claim that organs come from Falun Gong members. The UN has also heavily criticized China’s over using death row prisoners for organs. Israel and Spain already have laws prohibiting transplant tourism while other countries are currently debating on this topic.
Charmaine Santos is a junior at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.