NRL News

China, the Low Countries, and lethal organ harvesting

by | Sep 22, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Falun Dafa practitioners simulate organ harvesting in a mock Chinese labor camp to protest China's suspected abuse and killing of Falun Gong members, on April 23, 2006, in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan.

Falun Dafa practitioners simulate organ harvesting in a mock Chinese labor camp to protest China’s suspected abuse and killing of Falun Gong members, on April 23, 2006, in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan.

The photos in the New York Post (even if only simulated) are blood curdling. Along with the accompanying story, they are the most recent reminder of “The grim reality of human organ harvesting in China.” (The article originated elsewhere and was reprinted in the Post.)

We last posted about this scandal in August–“Transplant doctors clash over Chinese organ donor system.”  The primary pool of victims is prisoners, many of whom are prisoners of conscience.

We read in the Post story about the mind-numbing ordeal that begins with prisoners being restrained and drugged while their organs are removed. Sometimes (you wouldn’t think very often) they make it out alive after having an organ or organs removed

Or you might be secretly executed.

There’s also a strong chance you might die on the operating table after surgeons sedate you and start removing organs from your body, one by one — while you’re still alive.

Meanwhile, wealthy people will file into purpose-built hospitals for lifesaving organ transplants. The selection of human kidneys, livers and other organs is vast.

That’s because thousands of people have been slaughtered to put them there. Organ harvesting is a lucrative business for the Chinese government.

That is the reality for thousands of Chinese citizens who have reportedly been subjected to forced medical testing for the purposes of organ harvesting for the best part of the past two decades.

Sophia Bryskine, spokeswoman for the Australian branch of Doctor Against Forced Organ Harvesting, said, “China hasn’t even confirmed prisoners of conscience have been killed for their organs. They only said they stopped the practice for executed prisoners who had death sentences.” Of the Chinese legal system, she said simply, “It is corrupt,” adding, “It has to stop.”

The distinction between the West and China was that in the West, they wait for your death and then take your organs while in China they make you dead and take your organs. That distinction is quickly blurring.

In the Wild, Wild West known as Belgium and the Netherlands, euthanasia by lethal injection has already been coupled with organ donation. Who is “eligible”? As you would anticipate, proponents see a virtual sea of potential donors. Note they are getting less and less concerned whether the person is dead and more and more cavalier about voluntary consent.

For example, earlier this year, Wesley Smith wrote

“An article just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics epitomizes the argument. The authors—an assortment of Netherlander and Belgian medical professors—suggest changing their countries’ euthanasia laws to allow sick, disabled, and mentally ill people who want to die (all eligible for euthanasia in both countries) to opt for live harvesting instead of lethal injection.”

Wesley then quoted from the article:

The dead donor rule states that donation should not cause or hasten death. Since a patient undergoing euthanasia has chosen to die, it is worth arguing that the no-touch time [the wait between cardiac arrest and procurement] could be skipped . . . contributing to the quality of the transplanted organs. It is even possible to extend this argument to a ‘heart-beating organ donation euthanasia’ where a patient is sedated, after which his organs are being removed, causing death.

The calls is to eliminate the “dead donor rule”–what Wesley calls “the ethical backbone of organ transplant medicine requiring that a patient die naturally from injury or illness before vital organs can be procured”–grow louder and more shrill. “These advocates argue that consent should be the primary ethical concern and criteria for organ harvesting—not that a donor is dead,” Wesley explains.

Note the invidious next step: “Thus if living patients or their surrogates give the okay, doctors should be allowed to euthanize by means of live harvesting.”

Belgium and the Netherlands are not China. No prisoner is having their organs forcibly taken from them. I understand that.

But note how some prisoners are already insisting they be allowed to be euthanized and their organs extracted.

In the utilitarian world of the modern bioethicist–whose mantra is increasing (by hook or by crook) the “total amount of happiness”–why would we be surprised if they weren’t the first to say, “Go for it!”

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Categories: Organ Harvesting