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NYU Medical Ethics Director Urges US to Release Information on Organ Harvesting in China

Earlier this month 106 members of Congress wrote an open letter to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter called on the US State Department to release any information of organ harvesting in China. 2012-10-26 12:27 PM EST Last Updated: 2012-10-26 03:37 PM EST
This February, the Chinese Deputy Chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun fled to the US Consulate in Chengdu with confidential documents. Some of the documents are believed to contain classified information on the state-sanctioned practice of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.


The US State Department has not released the classified documents, but it did acknowledge accusations of forced organ harvesting in its latest human rights report on China.


Arthur Caplan is a Professor of Medical Ethics and the Director of the Langone Medical Center and School of Medicine of New York University. He says the release of any information on forced organ removal is the first step in stopping the practice.


[Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, Director of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center]:

"Having this release of information is very important. I am very pleased that these Congressmen have called for this release and I hope that the state department responds quickly.”


He also says the evidence that this is happening in China should not be in question.


[Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, Director of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center]:

 “When the government themselves began to put up on websites statistics on things like liver transplantation they were showing big numbers, rapid increase. A lot of websites up in the 2006, 2007 period saying ‘Come here, we can get you a transplant in two weeks or 30 days.’ Nobody can do that in a cadaver system. Certainly no one can do that in a country that doesn’t have a cadaver procurement system. The logic is beyond doubt. It has to involve killing people on demand.” 


In June of 2011 the US added a question to its DS-160 application for non-immigrant visas. The application asks if the person has ever taken part in forced human organ transplantation. 


[Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, Director of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center]:

"I don’t expect anyone to say ‘Yes, I was involved in organ harvesting, don’t let me in but it does send a kind of… appropriate signal of concern.”


Dr. Caplan also calls on the American scientific and medical community to actively boycott transplant information and research coming from China.



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