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New rule for organ distribution in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-21 23:29

BEIJING - Donor organs must be distributed automatically through a national system, according to a new rule to take effect on September 1.

The rule aims to prevent human intervention and ensure fairness and transparency in human organ distribution in China.

The Regulation on the Procurement and Distribution of Donated Human Organs was publicized by the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Organs shall be obtained by organ procurement organizations (OPO) authorized by provincial health authorities, and distribution of the organs must be done through the China Organ Transplant Response System (, the rule says.

The system gives distribution results after sorting recipients based on the degree of their emergency and compatibility with transplantable organs.

OPO will input clinical data of donors and donable organs into the system, and strictly follow directives regarding organs distribution automatically given by the system and ensure all transplantable organs are traceable, according to the rule.

"No institution, organization or individual may distribute donated human organs without going through the system," it says.

Those involved in any distribution of donated organs bypassing the national system, or failure to obey the directives given by the system, or cheating by fabricating clinical data, will be handled in accordance with the law and government rules.

Medical institutions or practitioners who introduce potential organ donors to any institution, organization or individual other than OPO will be punished.

Those who are suspected of having a role in the trade of donated human organs will also be dealt in accordance with the law and rules.

China has the world's second-largest demand for organ transplants. About 300,000 patients suffer from organ failure each year, but only around 10,000 organ transplant operations are performed annually due to a lack of donors.

China introduced an organ donation system in 2010, with the non-governmental Red Cross Society serving as an independent third party for supervising and facilitating donation procedures.

As of August 9, a total of 2,742 organs had been donated via the system, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

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