Success of organ donation system doubtful
The Chinese Government made efforts in August to curb organ trafficking by introducing a national organ donation system. But the signs are that it is not successful. People are flocking to organ trading websites where people in need of cash are matched with people in need of organs. .
The government believes that a million patients are in need of organ transplants every year – but fewer than one per cent will actually receive one. About 80% die while waiting for transplants, experts say.
Corrupt doctors are linked to organ trafficking, says Professor Zhai Xiaomei, a bioethicist at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science. He says that “It’s also possible that the brokers lied to the hospital, saying the buyers and the sellers are relatives or have a close bond with [them] as the law allows live organ donations between these people. But any doctors with a sense of social responsibility will be able to tell if it looks dodgy, but often they turn a blind eye.”
Dr Daniel Wikler, of the Harvard School of Public Health, says that in order to raise organ donation rates, a national system is required in China. “Building up a system of voluntary donation and a system of transplantation as just a part of a functioning and adequate healthcare system will certainly be a step forward.”
Professor Xiaomei believes that despite the difficulty, the challenge must be faced. “We can’t allow organ trading, it will promote crime, even murder,” she said. “It’s not a fiction anymore, it’s actually happening.
“It will also threaten human dignity and increase the gap between the rich and the poor. Because organ trading will always end up with the poor selling their organs and the rich buying. It’s not a society we want to live in.” ~ ABC, Nov 16
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