Almost all organs from donors in China are ultimately unused, announced a state media Tuesday, after years of controversy on the use of executed convicts to death.
Authorities estimate to 2500 the number of organ donors this year, according to the Youth Daily of Beijing, citing Huang Jiefu, head of the Chinese Committee of organ donation and former Deputy Minister of Health.
This could “technically” make possible 2500 heart transplants and 5,000 lung transplants, he said to the newspaper.
However, only a hundred hearts were transplanted in January, and a number of similar, kind lungs.
For comparison, about 5300 transplants were performed in France in 2014.
“On one hand, there is a shortage on the other side there is a waste,” said Mr. Huang.
The newspaper accuses the slow transportation of organs and lack of coordination.
Chinese tradition has it that a death is buried without mutilation in the hope of reincarnation, and among the 1.37 billion Chinese, only a small number accept the removal of organs when a family member dies .
The high demand has encouraged forced donations and the illegal trade of human rights defense organizations have long condemned the removal of organs from death row prisoners or after their death, often without the consent of families .
Beijing said to have ended this practice since 1 January, but some international organizations are concerned that prisoners are reclassified as voluntary donors to bypass the restriction.
Huang Jiefu, however, ensures that “not a single organ” used in the legal framework of the donation in China has been taken from a death sentence.
“While the legal system is not perfectly solid, it would be erroneous proposition in itself than asking a condemned man if he wants to give as a citizen,” he assured the newspaper.