Sunday, July 05, 2009

Chinese Recycling Program

And you thought Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib were bad...

Prisoners of conscience --especially young healthy Falun Gong practitioners-- can be worth $60,000 for just one organ. I'd heard of this before but not looked at the documentation.

The Canadian MP and human rights campaigner didn't have much trouble confirming that Falun Gong (Qi Gong meditation group) members were being executed on demand to fill the needs of foreign visitors paying for organ transplants. You can just call up hospitals all across China and ask them. They will tell you that that is what they do. No problem.

An excerpt:

Phone-call transcripts from the Kilgour-Matas Report

1. Call to Dr. Lu, Nanning City Minzu Hospital, Guangxi
M: "...Could you find organs from Falun Gong practitioners?"
Hosp: "Let me tell you, we have no way to get (them). It's rather difficult to get it now in Guangxi. If you cannot wait, I suggest you go to Guangzhou because it's very easy for them to get the organs. They are able to look for (them) nation wide. As they are performing the liver transplant, they can get the kidney for you at the same time, so it's very easy for them to do. Many places where supplies are short go to them for help..."
M: "Why is it easy for them to get?"
Hosp: "Because they are an important institution. They contact the (judicial) system in the name of the whole university."
M: "Then they use organs from Falun Gong practitioners?"
Hosp: "Correct..."
M: "...what you used before (organs from Falun Gong practitioners), was it from detention centre(s) or prison(s)?"
Hosp: "From prisons."
M: "...and it was from healthy Falun Gong practitioners...?"
Hosp: "Correct. We would choose the good ones because we assure the quality in our operation."
M: "That means you choose the organs yourself."
Hosp: "Correct..."
M: "Usually, how old is the organ supplier?"
Hosp: "Usually in their thirties."
M: "... Then you will go to the prison to select yourself?"
Hosp: "Correct. We must select it."
M: "What if the chosen one doesn't want to have blood drawn?"
Hosp: "He will for sure let us do it."
M: "How?"
Hosp: "They will for sure find a way. What do you worry about? These kinds of things should not be of any concern to you. They have their procedures."
M: "Does the person know that his organ will be removed?"
Hosp: "No, he doesn't."

2. Call to Shanghai Jiaotong University Hospital’s Liver Transplant Centre:
M: I want to know how long [the patients] have to wait [for a liver transplant].
Dr. Dai: The supply of organs we have, we have every day. We do them every day.
M: We want fresh, alive ones.
Dr. Dai: They are all alive, all alive…
M: How many [liver transplants] have you done?
Dr. Dai: We have done 400 to 500 cases… Your major job is to come, prepare the money, enough money, and come.
M: How much is it?
Dr. Dai: If everything goes smoothly, it’s about RMB 150,000… RMB 200,000.
M: How long do I have to wait?
Dr. Dai: I need to check your blood type… If you come today, I may do it for you within one week.
M: I heard some come from those who practise Falun Gong, those who are very healthy.
Dr. Dai: Yes, we have. I can’t talk clearly to you over the phone.
M: If you can find me this type, I am coming very soon.
Dr. Dai: It’s ok. Please come.
M: … What is your last name?...
Dr. Dai: I’m Doctor Dai.

The military, like the health system, has gone from public financing to private enterprise. The military in China is a conglomerate business. This business is not corruption, a deviation from state policy. It is state sanctioned, an approved means of raising money for military activities. In 1985, then President Deng Xiaoping issued a directive allowing the People's Liberation Army units to earn money to make up the shortfall in their declining budgets.

Many of the transplant centres and general hospitals in China are military institutions, financed by organ transplant recipients. Military hospitals operate independently from the Ministry of Health. The financing they earn from organ transplants does more than pay the costs of these facilities. The money is used to finance the overall military budget.

There is, for instance, the Organ Transplant Center of the Armed Police General Hospital in Beijing. This hospital boldly states:

"Our Organ Transplant Center is our main department for making money. Its gross income in 2003 was 16,070,000 Yuan. From January to June of 2004 income was 13,570,000 Yuan. This year (2004) there is a chance to break through 30,000,000 Yuan."

Military involvement in organ harvesting extends into civilian hospitals. Recipients often tell us that, even when they receive transplants in civilian hospitals, those conducting the operation are military personnel.

Somebody should make a data bank of the transplanted organ's DNA and some day the origins of many of these could be cleared up, matched with surviving family members.

I love China (all of the Chinas, including Taiwan, and the whole greater Sino-Tibetan entourage, especially the Dalai Lama;-), but this religious-freedom-suppressing organ-salvaging military-funding transplanting practice should be brought to an end. The report contains very clear and targeted proposals for how Canada et al should respond.

Some people will criticize China heavily for this, but I don't think it's really something to bash the Chinese for. First of all, that's not productive, and secondly, it's the logical result of (1) having the death penalty (like many of the United States & Japan); (2) encouraging organ donation (many countries and states are in the process of trying to make the process 'Opt-Out' rather than opt-in); (3) having policies of rounding up people on the basis of their political and religious beliefs and holding them indefinitely without charges or trial (like the Americans' Soviet-gulag-style camp at Guantanamo Bay which holds, indefinitely and without charge, political prisoners apprehended worldwide who are considered too dangerous to be left free). In other words, it really isn't much different from other beliefs and practices which we accept (and the direction in which other cultures are drifting). It is just combined and extended further. It wouldn't be all that surprising if this becomes the practice in the United States. How does a prisoner guilty of the September 11th attacks repay the victims? If the death penalty is employed, why wouldn't you auction off the organs of the 9-11 terrorists to executives of AIG or someone to raise money to compensate the victims of terrorism? Perhaps Mitt Romney will make it part of his platform when he runs for president. I'm not defending it, just saying we need to see that we are cleaning up our own act at the same time.

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