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Hospital in Peking in 1934
The China Daily reported that China was second only to the United States in the number of transplant operations done each year. As of 2005, China had performed 60,000 kidney transplants, 6,000 liver transplants and 250 heart transplants. Each year about 10,000 transplant operations are done but around 1.5 million people need transplants.

China has carried out liver transplants since the 1970s. The cost for a liver transplant today is around $30,000 for Chinese and $40,000 for foreigners; a kidney transplant costs about $6,000. The cost of organs is generally about 30 percent less than in other countries and organs are easier to get if one has the money to pay for them.

Laurie Burkitt wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “Due in part to traditional beliefs and distrust of the medical system, voluntary donations are rare in China, where the need for organs far exceeds the supply. An estimated 1.5 million people in China are in need of organ transplants annually, while only 10,000 receive them, according to government statistics. In the U.S. in 2009, 14,632 organs were donated, while the transplant wait list had 104,898 patients, according to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. [Source: Laurie Burkitt, wall Street Journal, March 23, 2012]

“The Ministry of Health and the Red Cross launched a voluntary organ donation program beginning in 2010 that has been tried out in 16 of China's mainland cities and provinces. Since March 2010 the program has resulted in the donation of 546 major organs, according to a statement from the Red Cross. China's lack of available organs has also created a black market for ailing patients wealthy enough to afford them. State-owned China Daily has reported that kidneys purchased from organ traffickers can cost about $29,000. Chinese officials banned organ trafficking in 2007, restricting all living organ donations to spouses, blood relatives, and people with close family ties.

Some hospitals perform transplants chiefly with profits in mind. In the mid 2000s, at least 368 hospitals in mainland China performed transplant operation, compared to only one in Hong Kong. The quality of the procedures and follow up care is often less than ideal. The survival rate of a liver transplant for more than one year in China is 50 percent, compared to 81 percent in the United States. According to a study by South Korean researchers, 6.5 percent of South Koreans who received liver transplants in China became infected with hepatitis B or C.

China has a severe shortage of organs for transplants. An August 2009 Ministry of Health statement acknowledged that 65 percent of the 10,000 transplants in China involved organs from executed prisoners. At that time only about one person out of a million on waiting list for organs received one and only 130 people signed up to be donors between 2003 and 2008. In June 2009, the government announced it was setting up a system to register organs and encourage more people to donate organs to ease the shortage and reduce the dependance on organs from executed prisoners.

Organ Donations and Black Market Organ Sales in China

There is a shortage of organs and corneas for transplants and even blood because Chinese are reluctant to give blood and donate organs out of the belief that they need to "stay whole" or their body parts won't accompany them to the next world after the die. Even today one of the worst Chinese insults you can hurl at some is "die an incomplete corpse." For the same reason hospitals frequently are unable to perform required autopsies because families refuse consent. There are so few organs that body parts are taken from executed prisoners and even children without the family's consent. As of 2009, 65 percent of donated organs in China came from executed prisoners. See Below.

Kidneys and other organs are sold fairly openly and sometimes informally auctioned off to the highest bidder. Black market activity — and even kidnaping — related to organ trading is common in poor regions of Western China. Most of the activity is the voluntary sale of kidney for operations involving wealthy patients. There are even advertisements in newspapers and websites for middlemen who buy and sell organs. Most of these willing to sell their organs are desperately in need of cash. One ad on the NetEase auction site read: "I have organs — a heart, kidneys, corneas — for sale. I don’t plan on living anymore, and I need some money for parents' old age."

In September 2008, Hiroyuki Nagase, a Japanese man who ran an organization called the China International Organ Transplant Center in Shenyang in Liaoning Province, was imprisoned for a year on China charges of false advertising and questioned by Japanese police in connection with brokering organs for profit, an illegal act in Japan, when he returned to Japan after being deported. He organized more than 100 transplants for Japanese clients in hospitals in Shenyang, Shanghai and other Chinese cities. On his web site kidney transplants were offered for $78,000 and liver transplants for $130,000, both including the operation expenses.

Foreigners Who Have Received Black Market Organs in China

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Helping a Japanese
victim of the Jinan Incident
Foreign patients from all over the world come to China with thousands of dollars in cash in hopes to getting a kidney or some other organ transplant. Sometimes they are told to come during the holidays because that is traditionally when most of the death row prisoners are executed.

Waiting times in China for an organ transplant are extremely low, one reason why patients from overseas to seek treatment there. Hundreds of those who travel to China every year for organ transplants operations are Asians, particularly from South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. The patients pay several thousand dollars for the operation plus provide gifts such as Martell cognac, 555 brand cigarettes and bottles of perfume for the surgeon’s wives. On completion of a successful operation the patients tip the chief surgeon and assistants with “red packets” fulled with cash

An investigation in China in 2004 by the British newspaper The Independent found a flourishing underground trade in organ sales and transplants, especially for Japanese patients. And in 2006, a BBC reporter went to a public hospital in the city of Tianjin, ostensibly to arrange a liver transplant for his ailing father. The reporter said hospital officials told him a suitable liver could be available in three weeks. In many cases the organs went to the highest bidder. Those who run out of funds have their treatment cut off. One patient from Malaysia told the International Herald Tribune about another patient who ran out of money after suffering from complications after a kidney transplant. “They stopped the mediation for one day,” he said. The man eventually died of infection after returning to Malaysia.

Over a hundred Japanese had organ transplants in the city of Shenyang alone in 2004 and 2005. In October 2007, a Japanese man was detained there for “organ brokerage.” In February 2006, the Japanese government began an investigate of eight Japanese patients who received organ transplants in China and died of infections and other problems after returning home. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch said, “It is high dangerous...If there is a medical impropriety or accident there absolutely no recourse for the patient.” Japanese suffering from spinal chord injuries have traveled to the Medical Science Hospital in Beijing to undergo the transplant of cells from aborted fetus in hopes of regain some feeling or movement,

Cracking Down on Organ Trafficking in China

In May 2007, China banned all transplants to foreigners — many of them so-called organ tourists — because an estimated 1.5 million Chinese are on waiting lists for transplants. Not a big deal was about he ban until 2009 when 17 Japanese were investigated for having received illegal kidney and liver transplants in China. China strongly opposes organ transplant tourism, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on its Web site in February 2009, adding that the hospitals and medical personnel who carried out the organ transplants against the rules will be severely dealt with according to the law. The ministry’s investigation was launched after Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the 17 tourists had spent $87,000 each for the operations. The price included travel, accommodations and 20 days of treatment at a hospital in Guangzhou, in southern China, the report said. At the request of the hospital, some of the Japanese patients registered under Chinese names, the Kyodo report said. Most of the patients were between 50 and 65 years old. The news agency also said most of the organs were likely from executed Chinese prisoners. In 2008, the deputy health minister, Huang Jiefu, said his ministry had punished three Chinese hospitals for selling organs to foreigners. [Source: Mark McDonald New York Times, February 17, 2009]

in February 2009, after years of controversy over organ trafficking in China, the government said it would establish a registry for organ donors and recipients. In July 2006 a law went into affect that specifically bans the sale of human organs. The law requires that donors give written permission for their organs to be transplanted and restricts transplant surgery to top-ranked institutions that must verify that organs are from legal sources and that surgery is safe and justified.

New rules put into place in May 2007 included: 1) outlawing the trade and harvest or organs for profit or without permission; 2) making it illegal for people under 18 to donate their organs; and 3) allow only standardized transplant procedures at a limited number of hospitals that are licensed to perform such operations. Doctors caught doing unauthorized transplants face having their licences revoked. China has proposed introducing the death penalty for people convicted of organ trafficking. According to a Xinhua report those convicted of “forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from juveniles” could face the same punishment as for homicide, which ranges from 10 years in prison to execution

In July 2020, six people in China, including four doctors, in Anhui province were sentenced to prison for 10 to 28 months for illegally harvesting organs from 11 patients, many of whom were car accident victims or people with severe brain damage. The judgmentdescribed a network of doctors from different hospitals who worked together on the organ harvesting scheme. The Telegraph reportedl: “After identifying potential candidates, the doctors would then approach patients’ families and ask them to sign fraudulent consent forms agreeing to organ donation on behalf of their deceased relatives. Families, however, believed they were signing legitimate papers. Operations to remove the organs were performed by the doctors in delivery vans disguised as an ambulance, according to state media. [Source: Sophia Yan, The Telegraph, November 27, 2020]

Organ Harvesting from Death-Row Prisoners in China

China no longer involuntarily harvests the organs of inmates but it once did. For years China relied on prisoners and organ traffickers to supply organs for transplants. It ended the practice in 2015. Laurie Burkitt wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “An estimated 65 percent of China's organ donations come from prisoners, according to 2009 data, from human-rights advocacy organization Amnesty International. The dependence on prisoners for their organs influences the timing of executions in China and in many cases bars inmates from the ability to appeal their death sentences, she said. While such appeals are rare in China, prisoners sometimes get a reprieve on death sentences, enabling them to escape execution. [Source: Laurie Burkitt, wall Street Journal, March 23, 2012]

Organ harvesting from executed prisoners has been going on for some time. In 1991, according to the People’s Daily, 2,900 kidneys from executed criminals were transplanted into patients. Hong Kong patients who need kidneys were referred to a medical center run by Guangzhou University if they had enough money. One physician there said he welcomed criminal activity and an increased number of execution to supply the transplant market. An official report obtained by Human Rights Watch\Asia read: "the use of the corpses or organs of executed criminals must be kept strictly secret. Attention must be paid to [avoiding negative] repercussions." Other countries harvest organs from executed prisoners. Taiwan does but reportedly does so with the consent of the prisoners.

Beijing said on several occasions that allegations that organs were harvested from prisoners were “vicious slander” and “sensational lies.” Finally in 2005, the Chinese government fessed up and admitted for the first that organs were harvested from executed criminals and said it would regulate the trade. Before then the only laws on the books was a 1984 draft document that stipulated that operations for harvesting organs can only take place with the consent of the prisoner’s family or if the body has not been claimed.

A UN report on organ harvesting in China from January 2021 said: ‘According to the allegations received, the most common organs removed from the prisoners are reportedly hearts, kidneys, livers, corneas, and, less commonly, parts of livers. This form of trafficking with a medical nature allegedly involves health sector professionals, including surgeons, anesthetists, and other medical specialists.’

In January 2022, a Chinese senior health official Huang Jiefu, the Deputy Director of the Chinese Central Health Commission, admitted on camera on national television in China that the Chinese government has been harvesting organs from criminals on death row. ‘Organ transplantation has become a gray area. Ordinary people dare not speak about it, neither do doctors’, he said. The Chinese government has insisted that organ harvesting has been done only with prior consent of the prisoners or their family. Huang Jiefu said in November 2006, “Apart from a small portion of traffic victims, most of the organs from cadavers are from executed prisoners. The relevant authorities strongly require the informed consent from prisoners or their families for the donation of organs.” A spokesman of the Health Ministry admitted that poor government supervision has led to a number of “improper” organ transplants.” [Source: Uyghur Times, January 19, 2022]

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Wang Shouxin Execution in 1980

What Happens to Organs After a Chinese Execution

After the execution the body is photographed. If no organs are to be removed the body is taken away to a crematoria. The family of the prisoner is not allowed to see the corpse but they do have to pay the costs of cremation and transport to the crematoria. Recently execution sites have been moved to remote locations partly because too many prisoners were yelling anti-government slogans before they were killed. According to a 1986 regulation: "Execution grounds are not allowed to be set up near busy sections of town, near key roads or near tourist sites."

Organs, corneas and skin used in transplant operations are often taken from executed prisoners. Sometimes the organs are removed in the ambulance two or three minutes after an execution take place. It is not uncommon for prisoners to receive and anti-coagulant hours before the execution to make organs transplants easier. Afterwards the body is taken to crematoria where skin and corneas are removed and the body is quickly cremated, which destroys any evidence that the organs had been removed.

According to some sources most organs used in transplant operations are harvested from prisoners sentenced to death. The use of bullet to the back of the head is ideal for transplants because the bullet does not contaminate the organs with poisonous chemicals as lethal chemicals do and does not directly affected the circulatory system as a bullet through the heart does. "If they want the [corneas] they shoot in the chest," one official told Sun. "If they want the internal organs, they shoot in the head." When lethal injection was introduced in the 1990s chemicals were chosen that were suitable to organ harvesting [Source: Lena H. Sun, the Washington Post]

The reliance on prisoners for organs is the result of a scarcity of donors partly resulting from the deep-seated cultural taboo against damaging the integrity of the body. Chinese rarely give doctors permission to take organs from deceased family members. Executed prisoners are treated with different standard. The organs are usually removed without the prior consent of the prisoners or their families. Permission from family members for organs taken from executed prisoners is rarely asked for or given.

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Wang Shouxin Execution in 1980

Organ Harvesting Methods

Matthew Robertson wrote in The Epoch Times: Researchers investigating China’s organ transplantation practices were troubled by the remarks and what they implied. “The so called “research scene” that Wang Lijun refers to is either an outright execution site with medical vans, or possibly a medical ward, where peoples’ organs are surgically removed,” said Ethan Gutmann, who has published extensively on organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience. He added that the injections that the award refers to are probably “anti-coagulants and experimental medications that lower the chance of immune-system rejection as the organ is passed between one living body — heart still beating, soon to expire from the trauma — to another.” Gutmann added that this is “normal medical practice” in China, where hospitals, military hospitals, and public security bureaus intersect.[Source: Matthew Robertson, The Epoch Times, February 15, 2012]

“There is zero guarantee that consent was involved,” Gutmann said. “Ample evidence has come to light that the victims could well have been Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, “Eastern Lightning” Christians or — exponentially more likely — Falun Gong practitioners. In other words, Wang Lijun received an award for, at best, barbarism.” It is not possible to know what proportion of victims Wang referred to in his remark about “thousands” of on-site transplants were criminal prisoners and how many were political prisoners or prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners. Further, in China there is a range of nonviolent crimes that can be punished with the death penalty, but the communist state does not publish statistics detailing the numbers of people executed and their crimes.

In the eyes of experts, a significant question left worryingly open in Wang’s remarks is whether the prisoners actually died before their organs were taken from their bodies. Given the reference to drug injections, it is highly possible that the hearts of the victims were still beating when their organs were removed, these experts say.

“It used to be that China would shoot for execution, then they shifted from shooting to using injections,” says Matas. “In effect they’re not killing by injection, but paralyzing by injection, and taking the organs out while the body is still alive.” When an organ is removed from a still-live body, it is fresher and rejection rates are lower. “It’s possible to source an organ immediately after the victim is brain dead, but much more complicated,” says Matas. “The organ deterioration is more marked once they are brain dead, but if you keep the body alive through drugs you can harvest organs over a longer period of time.”

Wang’s conversations with the U.S. consular officials in Chengdu might shed light on such details as the function of the drugs he used in transplantation operations in Liaoning Province. In any case Wang’s visit to the consulate provides the best opportunity to date of confirmation from a Chinese official of the ongoing practice of forced organ harvesting in China.

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Wang Shouxin Execution in 1980

Description of Organ Harvesting in China

One medical official told The Times of London that hospitals contact local police and make requests for organs. Later, the police notify them if donors are available. Doctors then travel to execution grounds in specially equipped ambulances with a team of nurses to harvest the organs as quickly after death as possible.

An exiled Chinese doctor, Dr. Wang Guoqi, described the harvesting of organs from prisoners before a U.S. Congressional Committee. He said he participated in the removing of skin and corneas from 100 execution victims, including one who was still alive, at the Tianjin Paramilitary Police General Brigade Hospital.

Dr. Wang told the Washington Post, security officials are paid $37 a corpse to tip off the hospital that executions were imminent. Removing the skin, he said, took 20 minutes or less. "A circumferential cut was made around the wrist, the neck and the shoulder joint as deep as the subcutaneous fat layer or the layer above the muscles. A longitudinal cut was made on the inner side of the upper limb linking both circumferential cuts, either from top to bottom or in the opposite direction."

"After all extractable tissues and organs were taken, what remained was an ugly heap of muscles, the blood vessels still bleeding, all viscera exposed." The skin was processed and chilled for transplants recipients, mostly burn victims, who are charged about $12 for 10 square centimeters of skin.

Wang said he was told to work on a man who was not killed by the bullet to the head and was convulsing on the ground. Doctors were ordered to extract the organs and remove the skin and told the removal of the organs would kill him.

Transplant Operations with Organs from Prisoners in China

Wealthy Thais, Filipinos, Russians, Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians and Taiwanese with serious kidneys aliments sometimes travel to China to receive transplanted kidneys taken from executed prisoners. According to AFP the desperate patients pay up to $40,000 for operations performed by unscrupulous and in many cases unqualified doctors. Agents who arrange the operations make huge profits while the patents only have about a 40 percent chance of survival.

The prisoners are often killed in batched. In some cases patients are told in advance when batches of prisoners are going to be killed and waiting in hospitals in anticipation of organs being made available. Potential recipients are often told to be ready around the Chinese Lunar New Year because many executions tale place around that time.

On man from Taiwan told U.S. News and World Report, "We were lucky that there happened to be an execution of a convict...whose blood type marched my dad's." A satisfied Israeli customer told The Times of London, “If I had never had my kidney transplant in China. I would already be dead. A Chinese sentenced to death saved my life.”

A Malaysian man who underwent a kidney transplant in a hospital in Guangzhou told the International Herald Tribune:, “They just tell you it was a convict. They don’t tell you what he did.” But often they were “young men” who commit “serious,” “violent” crimes.

Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong Members

David Matas, an award-winning Canadian human rights lawyer, and David Kilgour, a former Canadian secretary of state (Asia/Pacific) and crown attorney, co-authored a report on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. The pair estimate that in the six-year period 2000 — 2005, 60,000 transplantation operations were done in China and Falun Gong practitioners were the likely source for the organs for 41,500 operations. CQ Global Researcher, a leading global affairs journal, quotes Kilgour and Matas and Gutmann as independently estimating over 62,000 practitioners have been killed for their organs in the period 2000 — 2008. [Source: Matthew Robertson, The Epoch Times, February 15, 2012]

In 2019, China Tribunal, an independent panel of lawyers and experts, said that China has murdered members of the Falun Gong and harvested their organs for transplant. Reuters reported: Members said they had heard clear evidence forced organ harvesting had taken place over at least 20 years, saying it was “satisfied” that the practice was still taking place, with imprisoned Falun Gong members “probably the principal source” of organs for forced harvesting. “The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason,” said the tribunal chairman Sir Geoffrey Nice. [Source: Sonia Elks. Reuters, June 18, 2019]

The China Tribunal was set up by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, a campaign group, charged with examining whether crimes had been committed as a result of China’s transplant practices. The seven-member panel found it was “beyond doubt” that forced organ harvesting from prisoners has taken place “on a substantial scale by state-supported or approved organizations and individuals” The panel said its findings were “indicative” of genocide but it had not been clear enough to make a positive ruling, particularly since some Falun Gong prisoners had been released and profit was also a likely motive.

Hamid Sabi, a human rights lawyer with the China Tribunal told the the U.N. Human Rights Council: “Forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, including the religious minorities of Falun Gong and Uighurs, has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale. The tribunal’s final report matter details abuses committed by the Chinese government, and asserts that the government sanctioned doctors to “cut open [victims’ bodies] while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale.” [Source: Zachary Evans, National Review, September 27, 2019]

Organ Harvesting of Uyghurs

Uyghur rights activists have said the harvesting the organs of Uyghurs has taken place in Chinese prisons and concentrations camps. Former Uyghur surgeon, Enver Tohti, told the Mirror Online: ‘Between ten and twenty men in prisoners’ uniforms were lying dead on the side of the hill. Most had the front part of their heads blown away by the military police that now stood over their twitching corpses. I became a robot. You carry out what you are programmed to do. When I cut through, there was bleeding. It meant the heart was still beating. I understood why. The man had a gun wound on the right side of his chest. They had knocked him out but did not let him die immediately, so I had time to remove the organs. It was an easy and quick operation which took ten to fifteen minutes, or even less because it was a destructive operation. The chief surgeon put the organs in a box, told to take my team back to the hospital, and reminded me that ‘today nothing happened.’ [Source: Uyghur Times, January 19, 2022]

By one estimate over 25,000 Uyghurs a year are killed for their organs. Magnus Fiskesjo of Cornell University wrote: Evidence has been piling up for organ harvesting in China, including as part of the ongoing genocide in the Uyghur region — observations that healthy young men were taken away, never to return; airports setting up special human organ transport channels; wealthy foreigners strangely able to schedule fast transplants, and so on. It would make sense in terms of how Chinese authorities have been carrying out the genocide: detaining mass numbers of people, then transferring some to slavery, some to prisons, while many are unaccounted for. [Source: Magnus Fiskesjo, MCLC Resource Center, April 8, 2022]

But, much of the evidence about organ harvesting has been circumstantial, and of course the regime denies everything, as usual. Now, a new study claims to have located a “smoking gun”, through meticulous research, that has yielded new evidence for how organs are harvested from healthy prisoners in China — who are kept alive until their heart is cut out. The researchers themselves explained their research in the following articles.See, and

It has been suggested the reason they are targeting Uyghur detainees now is that they have run out of Falungong victims. See “China’s ‘XXX Files’: ‘25 Thousand People Disappear Each Year, Their Organs Are Harvested. [Source: Magnus Fiskesjö, December 7, 2020]

Organs Removed From Chinese Inmates Before They Were Dead

A study released in April 2022 said that Chinese inmates had their hearts, lungs and other organs harvested before they were officially declared brain dead. At least 71 death row inmates in China had their vital organs removed, to be used for transplants, before they were officially declared dead, according to a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation. "We found that the physicians became the executioners on behalf of the state, and that the method of execution was heart removal," an author of the study, Matthew P. Robertson, an Australian National University researcher, told Al Jazeera. See Uyghurs Above [Source: Taiyler Simone Mitchell, Business Insider, April 9, 2022]

According to the study, Chinese surgeons broke the key transplant donor rule: Don't remove organs from a live body. Robertson and cardiac surgeon Jacob Lavee, reviewed 2,838 cases to determine that 348 "surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical workers or researchers" who participated in the executions of inmates between 1980 and 2015 had removed the organs of death row inmates prior to "legitimate determination of brain death." During much of that period, there was no process for voluntary organ donation in China, and death row inmates accounted for all transplants.

"If the reports we examine are accurate, they indicate that heart and lung procurement by the surgeon was the proximate cause of the prisoner's death, thus directly implicating the surgeon in the execution," the study reads. "This was one of the strongest pieces of evidence of failure to adhere to the dead donor rule because ventilation via intubation is a key step in being able to diagnose brain death," Lavee told Newsweek. "There were several other problematic features of these clinical case reports. For instance, the donors did not have intravenous lines established until moments before surgery, and several papers referred to acute brain death. This evidence suggests that the donors' organs were procured before they could have been properly diagnosed as brain dead," Lavee added.

China Stops Harvesting Inmate Organs in 2015?

China outlaw the organ harvesting of inmates in 2015. In 2012, Chinese officials said China would phase out organ harvesting of death-row inmates, a move to overhaul a transplant system. Huang Jiefu, China's vice minister of health, said that Chinese officials plan to abolish the practice within the next five years and to create a national organ-donation system, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news agency. “The pledge to abolish organ donations from condemned prisoners represents the resolve of the government," Xinhua quoted Mr. Huang as saying. [Source: Laurie Burkitt, wall Street Journal, March 23, 2012]

Some wonder whether China has indeed stopped the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners. Yaqiu Wang, senior China researcher at Humans Right Watch, is also seemingly skeptical about whether the country has ceased the practice. He told Business Insider: "The Chinese authorities have a history of dubious claims with regard to organ transplantation: They said they had taken organs from executed prisoners but insisted the prisoners had always had consented, despite evidence to the contrary. Authorities also claimed that they have ended the practice of using organs of executed prisoners, but there is a lack of evidence on that. The Chinese government's organ donation registry also lacks transparency and there have been reported data discrepancies." China is regarded as the world's leading executioner, according to Amnesty International. China's death row is shrouded in secrecy. It keeps its figures on executions secret, but Amnesty International estimates that it killed thousands of prisoners from 2016 to 2020. [Source: Taiyler Simone Mitchell, Business Insider, April 9, 2022]

Even 2012 Human-rights advocates doubted that China would be able to phase out the system entirely, because of the heavy dependence on it. They said that the government's efforts to educate the public on organ donation had been inadequate. "Officials repeatedly make announcements every few years, but they don't appear to have a solid plan in place," said Sarah Schafer, a Hong Kong-based China researcher for Amnesty International. [Source: Laurie Burkitt, wall Street Journal, March 23, 2012]

In 2019 , according to The Telegraph, a study published in BMC Medical Ethics journal found “highly compelling evidence” that China was falsifying organ donation numbers, potentially masking the source and fueling further concern that transplants were still coming from prisoners. [Source: Sophia Yan, The Telegraph, November 27, 2020]

Image Sources: Wikicommons, Nolls China website

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated September 2022

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