China's Ministry of Health on Monday issued a temporary regulation on human
organ transplants, explicitly banning the sale of organs and introducing a set
of medical standards for organ transplants in an effort to guarantee medical
safety and the health of patients.
Mao Qun'an, the ministry's spokesman, said that the temporary regulations ban
any kind of organ dealing, require the medical institutions to obtain a written
agreement from the donors before the transplant and donors are entitled to
refuse the donation at the last minute.
The regulation, effective from July 1, requires medical institutions to
register at provincial level health departments. Class Three A hospitals,
China's top ranking comprehensive hospitals, can apply for registration if they
have doctors with clinical organ transplant qualifications, the related
transplant equipment, a good management system and a medical ethics committee.
Unregistered medical institutions must not practice organ transplants and
qualified doctors with clinical organ transplant training must not practice in
Mao said that registration will be canceled if the patients who receive the
transplant do not survive a certain number of years. If the ministry finds any
registered medical institutions to be unqualified, the ministry will cancel the
registration and punish the people responsible.
The regulation also requires organ transplant cases to be discussed by the
ethics committee and the legitimacy of the organ confirmed by the committee. The
operations must take place after the committee's approval.
It is estimated that at least 2 million patients in China need organ
transplants each year but only up to 20,000 transplants can be conducted because
of a shortage of donated organs.