China plans reforms to organ donation rules

AFP
July 05, 2020

BEIJING: China is planning changes in its organ donation rules to tackle a shortage of donors and curb illicit harvesting after it stopped taking tissue from executed prisoners five years ago. The...

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BEIJING: China is planning changes in its organ donation rules to tackle a shortage of donors and curb illicit harvesting after it stopped taking tissue from executed prisoners five years ago. The draft rules published Wednesday by the National Health Commission allow people to donate the organs of relatives who have died.

They also make it illegal to take organs fromlivingminors as China tries to stamp out child trafficking for harvesting. China has been grapplingwith amassive dearth of donors after it ended the controversial practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners in 2015. The reforms focus on protecting the legal rights of donors but are unlikely to boost donations given the cultural sensitivities in China of “mutilating a body” after death, said Wang Bing, a Beijing-based lawyer who specialises in medical disputes.

“The number of organ donors is very low and the law falls short of creating an opt-out system, which is the only way to tackle social taboos around the topic,” he said. The draft law is available for public comment until the end of the month and no timeline has been set for debate or adoption by China´s parliament.



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