‘That liver is mine’. Image credit: @isafmedia.
Xu Bao, a terminally ill cancer patient, selflessly planned to donate his corneas, and other organs, upon his death. Representatives from two competing transplant groups, the Red Cross Society of China and Hefei Aier Ophthalmology Hospital were visiting Xu in his Hefei hospital room to argue their case when, according to the Global Times, fighting among the rivals erupted.
The Telegraph reports that the representatives fought over which group would receive Xu’s organs in front of the patient. The flowers one representative came bearing did little to soften the less-than-desirable bedside manner displayed.
A local television reporter reportedly described the altercation as, to say the least, “awkward”.
A friend of Xu, Zhang Yidong, who was present throughout the ordeal, said the representatives were “bickering for Xu’s body parts”. The fighting escalated to such a distasteful level that Xu withdrew his consent to donate his organs (great job guys).
The two organ transplant groups desperation for donations can be traced China’s growing organ tissue shortage. CCTV recently found that of the 1.5 million Chinese requiring transplants, only 10,000 receive the live-saving organs they need each year.
With the vast majority of Chinese organ transplants coming from executed criminals (a practice which is being phased out), officials are desperately seeking to bolster donations.