The Red Cross Society of China is to handed control of the nation’s organ donation system as the government moves to phase out its long reviled reliance on the organs of executed prisoners.
Health officials have also tapped the University of Hong Kong to develop the China Organ Transplant Response System, a computer system to maintain requests according to “urgency, compatibility and patient need,” Mr. Wang said in the WHO interview.
“While we cannot deny the executed prisoner’s right to donate organs, an organ transplantation system relying on death-row prisoners’ organs is not ethical or sustainable,” according to Wang Haibo, director of the China Organ Transplant Response System Research Centre of the Ministry of Health.
An estimated 1.5 million Chinese are in need of organ transplants every year, of those, only around 10,000 actually receive a transplant. The new system will be entirely voluntary, despite moves by some Western nations, such as the UK, towards ‘opt out’ systems where every citizen is a potential organ donor unless they specifically request to be removed from the list.
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