Healthcare Blog

China Bans Organizations And Individuals From Trading In Human Organs

July 22, 2017

China has banned the trade of human organs in any form by organizations and individuals, according to the State Council (Chinese cabinet). This means that a doctor could face losing his/her license to practice if caught trading in human organs. Clinics found trading in organs will be banned from carrying out any kind of transplant procedure for a period of three years or more. Civil servants found guilty of organ trading will be immediately fired. The new rules also warn of stiff fines.

China carries out more organ transplants, after the USA, than anywhere else in the world - approximately 5,000 annually. Healthcare professionals, among others, have expressed their concern for many years about the country's lack of regulations regarding organ transplants. Many believe executed prisoners have their organs taken without consent - officials deny this.

There is a huge deficit between patients requiring organs and actual available organs in China. Around one-an-a-half million patients require an organ transplant each year, of which a mere ten thousand or so succeed, says the country's Ministry of Health.

Among the new regulations, issued yesterday, organ donations must be free and voluntary - the collecting of organs without the owner's consent, or against his/her will, is illegal. Those harvesting organs from under 18s will now face serious charges, including murder.

These regulations do not include cell transplants, cornea transplants or marrow transplants.

From now on, every transplant procedure requires the approval of the hospital's ethics committee. Only approved hospitals/clinics will be authorized to carry out transplants.