By Amy Xia
With extremely short wait times for organ transplants, China has become a popular destination for “transplant tourism.” Compared to the average wait of 4-5 years in the United States, the wait in China is much shorter.
In one case, a patient waited only a month for both a kidney and liver transplants, although the family of the patient was given little information about the organs and who they were from. In addition, the transplantation cost $500,000 and resulted in infections, leaving the patient hospitalized.
In another case, a patient waited only a week for a kidney transplant; however, even though the patient repeatedly stated she was not ready for the transplant, the hospital still continued the procedure. After two failed transplants, this patient eventually died.
China performs the second most transplants in the world, after the United States. However, the source of the organs is largely unknown. While the Chinese Minister of Health claims that many come from executed prisoners, he states there is also rampant illegal organ trading activity. Research conducted by former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas reports that these organs mostly likely come from forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
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