Spokesman for Doctors Against Organ Harvesting: "We believe that the most atrocious violations of ethical standards in medicine in the 21st century take place in China - right now."

On July 19, 2007, Falun Gong practitioners from Europe, the United States, Asia and other places around the world held a rally at Capitol Hill in the United States to call for the disintegration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and an end to the persecution. A number of US Congress members, officials from non-governmental organizations, human rights lawyers and victims of the persecution spoke at the rally. They urged the CCP to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong that has persisted for eight years. The following is the statement by Dr. Torsten Trey, spokesman for Doctors Against Organ Harvesting.

Greetings Everyone!

First, let me thank the organizers for inviting me to this rally. I am speaking today on behalf of Doctors Against Organ Harvesting, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to inform the medical community and patients about allegations of forced live organ harvesting in China. We do not oppose ethical practices of organ donations performed with the voluntary and fully informed consent of the donor. But we were alarmed by reports emerging from China of forced organ removals that are performed against the will and without the consent of the donor. We are greatly concerned about ever-accumulating evidence, indicating that the recent transplantation boom in China is based on unethical and unacceptable medical practices. We believe that the most atrocious violations of ethical standards in medicine in the 21st century take place in China - right now.

In recent years, tens of thousands of transplantations were performed in China in the absence of a public voluntary organ donation program and without an established tradition of organ donations. Although the Chinese government has recently admitted that organs are taken from executed criminals, the number of executions does not match the number of transplants performed in China. Moreover, it was reported that Falun Gong practitioners are routinely blood typed and forced to undergo medical exams, whereas regular prisoners are not.

To cut it short, the number of transplantations performed in China today suggests a large pool of potential 'donors' that can be tapped on demand and on short notice.

Independent investigators have compiled significant evidence showing that this pool of 'donors' is most likely composed of living Falun Gong practitioners, waiting in detention to be killed on demand and for profit. We consider such practices as gross violation of all ethical standards applicable to the medical field.

The Hippocratic Oath demands that the physician must not do harm to the patient. At Doctors Against Organ Harvesting, we fear that in China some doctors do not even hesitate to murder innocent people in order to sell the harvested organs and thereby turning a physical body into an estimated half million dollars.

Transplantation medicine in China has apparently been turned into a criminal business. The noble practice of medicine has apparently been hijacked in the pursuit of profit: The lives of innocent people are put in jeopardy, they are robbed of their vital organs. The remaining body is cremated, the evidence destroyed and only the profits remain.

At this point, some of you may still say: "Isn't this an internal Chinese problem? Is it really our business to judge the Chinese government on their well-known abominable human rights record? " But at DAOH we think that this phenomenon is not only an internal China problem, as the Chinese government would like to have us believe. We at DAOH believe it affects the state of medicine around the globe!

Let me give you a few examples:

  • We fear that surgeons around the world may be tempted to send their patients to China because transplants in China can be provided without long waiting time and some patients may otherwise not be eligible for transplants in the Western medicine.
  • Patients in desperate need of transplants, frustrated by the necessarily long waiting time for donor organs in the West may travel to seek help in China.

However the wicked downside of this practice is that patients who ask for a transplant unknowingly cause the death of a healthy young person. The patient in need unknowingly becomes an accomplice of the communist regime in the persecution of Falun Gong.

* The National Kidney Foundation, in a statement dated August 15, 2006 warns: "Transplant candidates and professionals should be aware that there are other risks in so-called "transplant tourism" (traveling to another country for the purposes of transplantation). These risks may include the possibility of exploitation of the donors through coercive practices including paid donation."

* Transplant centers in Western countries may become unwitting accomplices to organ harvesting for profit by providing training for Chinese transplant surgeons,

* and Western medical journals may be tempted to publish the results of studies performed by Chinese research groups who have acquired data using unethical means.

In short: the time honored ethical standards of medicine are at stake.

At Doctors Against Organ Harvesting, we looked also at the socio-political concepts behind these practices. We raise the questions: Has the CCP used transplant medicine to shift the state-run persecution of Falun Gong into the medical field by inducing medical doctors to violate their professional oaths?

Are doctors whose stated mission it is to help patients, cure diseases, and alleviate suffering, goaded into assisting government agencies with murder?

Are patients who understandably wish to cure their life-threatening conditions deceived by the CCP, thus unknowingly becoming accomplices in the death of Falun Gong practitioners?

Transplant candidates from Western and Asian countries are known to have traveled to China for transplants. We demand to know whether the CCP turns doctors and patients into participants in unspeakable crimes at the beginning of the 21st century!

In Nazi Germany, medical doctors were used by the political regime to be instrumental in preparing the way for the Holocaust to become possible; today it appears that medical doctors in China are again used by a political regime to be instrumental in the state-run persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. We detect a serious danger to global ethical standards.

If we do not take a stand against such practices in time, we, as a society may be at risk to slowly become desensitized to the problem of unethical medicine if the profits become high. To prevent this cancer from spreading, we need to speak up right now.

We therefore call upon the international medical community and governments worldwide to stand up against the ongoing live organ harvesting in China and to call for an end of these practices. We demand an independent international investigation to verify the termination of these practices.

Thank you for your attention.

Posting date: 8/5/2007

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