Beijing | China is considering to change the rules of organ donation in order to attract new donors, the country is facing a shortage since the ban in 2015 of withdrawals on the death row inmates executed.
The draft law published by the ministry of Health, and subject to public input until the end of July, provides for the possibility to donate organs of deceased family members.
It also makes illegal the removal of organs from minors, in order to combat the abduction of children to this end.
This law should put an end to a shortage, since China has stopped in 2015 the controversial practice of the removal of organs from those executed after a sentence of death.
It is not certain, however, that habits are changing. As the chinese tradition dictates that the dead be buried without mutilation, and very few are the Chinese who accept the removal of organs.
“The (draft) law does not introduce the idea of tacit consent, where any person, unless notice to the contrary, is presumed to give his consent to the removal of his organs,” stresses Wang Bing, a lawyer based in Beijing and specialized in medical affairs.
“This would, however, be the only way to combat the taboo” around the integrity of the body, he says.
The draft legislation released Wednesday, provides for penalties for individuals and institutions involved in organ trafficking: fines can be increased up to 10 times the profits made and the doctors will be able to be suspended.
“Penalties already exist, but hospitals continue (…) to perform a large number of transplants, although we do not know from where come the” organ”, says the AFP Matthew Robertson, a researcher at the australian national University and specialized in medical errors in China.
The asian country has even practiced a “false systematic” data on organ donations, according to a study published in November in the journal BMC Medical Ethics and covered the period 2010-2016.
Limited, the number of voluntary donors deceased, however, has climbed in a decade in China. It went from 34 (in 2010) 6 316 (in 2018), according to the government agency responsible for the allocation of organs.
China is regularly accused by members of the sect Falun Gong, which is banned in the asian country, to engage in removal of organs forced on its followers imprisoned. Beijing has always strongly denied these accusations.