The history of organ transplantation started in China in the 1960s, and since then, the country has recorded thousands of kidney and liver transplants a year. However, there are growing concerns about the involuntary harvesting of organs and ethical standards, especially among executed criminals.
But recently, several reports came out as six Chinese individuals were arrested for illegally harvesting organs from an accident victim. Three out of these six people are doctors who work as organ procurement officers at their respective hospitals.
Illegal Organ Harvesting
The doctors and their accomplices have tricked the families of the accident victims that they are legally donating the organs of their family members. However, authorities said that it was not the case.
The group was able to remove kidneys and livers from 11 people at a hospital in Anhui province between 2017 and 2018. China is currently having problems in organ supply due to high demands. According to the South China Morning Post's report, three of the six people arrested were doctors and assigned as organ procurement officers in their respective hospitals.
Local reports said that the group would target those car accident victims or those suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage at Huaiyuan County People's Hospital in Anhui.
Yang Suxun, the head of the intensive care unit, would approach the family of the patient and ask them to sign a consent form donating their loved one's organs which turns out to be fake documents.
Then in the middle of the night, the body of the victim will be wheeled out of the hospital and put into a van that they make look like an ambulance where doctors can freely remove the organs. It was then sold to top buyers like individuals or hospitals which they contacted secretly.
Deliberately Destroying Corpses
But eventually, they were caught when the son of one of their victims grew suspicious. He told local news that he discovered some discrepancies in the documents his family received when they agreed to the organ donation. But when he confronted Yang, he was immediately given a large sum of money to "keep mum" of the situation.
That was when the son realized that something was off with the agreement so he promptly alerted the authorities. The six Chinese men were sentenced last July for committing the crime of "deliberately destroying corpses".
The sun told the local media that the case has just come to light right now. But China has been harvesting organs from prisoners for many years to help keep the demand, an issue that gained widespread global criticism.
According to BBC's report, this was only stopped in 2015 but authorities at that time said that it would become harder to keep up with the demand because donor rates in the country are still lower in other countries with -4.4 donations compared to Spain who has 49 million donations.
BBC has reported in 2015 the black market trade in organs where sales of organs are arranged online.
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