Chinese doctors perform a surgery in
Shanghai in June 2006. China will establish a new government body to
oversee the registration and allocation of donated organs for transplants,
amid widespread controversy in the field. [AFP]
Beijing - China will establish a new government body to oversee the
registration and allocation of donated organs for transplants, amid widespread
controversy in the field.
regulations on human organ transplants will be issued "soon", mandating the
establishment of the new body, Xinhua news agency reported Monday, citing
comments by Wang Jianrong, a vice director at the ministry of health.
On July 1, China issued regulations on the buying and selling of human organs
for transplant following widespread accusations over a black market trade in
organs taken from dead patients without their prior consent.
"Currently, China has no clear laws on human organ transplants," Xinhua said.
"This has resulted in transplants being carried out by unqualified doctors
with substandard medical equipment, leading to the death of some patients.
"It is also widely claimed that hospitals are preoccupied with the quantity
of organ transplants rather than the quality."
The article further lambasted the practice of giving foreign patients
priority in transplant operations due to the higher fees hospitals can charge
But it was unclear if the new regulations would address this issue.
China performed 34,726 organ transplants from 2000 to 2004, the report said
citing the health ministry. By the end of 2004, 599 medical institutions were
performing liver, kidney, heart and lung transplants.
"About 1.5 million people in China need transplants each year, but only
around 10,000 operations can be carried out due to organ shortages," it said.
Families are traditionally opposed to donating organs of deceased
relatives due to long-standing beliefs on keeping the body intact, it