Chinese Sell Human Organs on Internet
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CHINESE SELL HUMAN ORGANS ON INTERNET
By David Rennie in Beijing
Saturday 28 October 2000
CHINA'S shadowy trade in human organs has moved onto the internet, where
healthy but impoverished Chinese have begun offering to sell body parts
through a network of middle-men.
The web-based trade was exposed by a newspaper from the wealthy southern
province of Guangdong. Yesterday, the Public Health Ministry refused to
comment on reports that it is drafting a law to ban the trade in human
organs and legalise organ donation, both at present in a grey area of
To date, most outside attention has focused on the alleged sale of organs
from freshly executed Chinese criminals. China has always denied such sales,
saying all donations are "voluntary". But clinics have long been accused of
offering prisoners' organs for sale to wealthy overseas patients, most of
them from Asia.
The Yangcheng Evening News found advertisments on Chinese-language web sites
offering "a kidney from a living human body" and bone marrow. Another donor
wrote: "Cornea from healthy person with sight - urgent sale due to poverty".
Earlier this year, undercover reporters from Hong Kong were offered livers
from "good, young" executed criminals at the Sun Yat-sen University Hospital
in Guangzhou. Doctors urged the investigators to book an organ quickly, to
take advantage of an execution campaign then under way.
Dr He Xiaoshun, a surgeon from the same hospital, said this week that there
were individuals willing to sell their organs. He said the trade appeared to
be organised by middle-men posing as relatives or friends.
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