The Anhui Branch of the Red Cross Society of China reiterated that it is the only agency in the province that can legally authorize organ donations, following a dispute it won with an eye hospital over corneas donated by a cancer patient.
Zhang Yidong, a charity worker in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, had posted on his micro blog that two medical institutions — an organ donation center under Anhui's Red Cross Society branch and the Hefei Aier Eye Hospital — had argued over the corneas that a cancer patient had offered to donate.
Xu Bao of Anqing city, who is receiving treatment in a Hefei hospital, decided to donate his corneas and body to two different medical institutions due to his fading hopes of recovery, and he asked Zhang to help him find a channel for donating his body and corneas.
Under Xu's request, Zhang notified staff from two parties, the Anhui Red Cross Society branch and the Hefei Aier Eye Hospital. Staff members from the two institutions arrived at the hospital ward at the same time and began arguing over whom the corneas belong to, Zhang said in his micro blog.
The dispute should not have happened, as the Anhui Red Cross Society branch is the only legal platform for the registration and reception of organ donations, said Tang Changrong, a publicity official from the Red Cross Society branch.
Tang said there are only four organ donation centers under the Anhui Red Cross Society authorized to register patients for organ donations, and the Hefei Aier Eye Hospital is not among them.
Tang admitted that there was a "minor verbal conflict" between the two medical institutions' employees over the organ donation.
"Our staff only inquired about the qualification of receiving organs donated by patients of the other hospital. There might have been raised voices in the questioning, but no hostility involved," Tang said.
Meanwhile, the Hefei Aier Eye Hospital, which initially claimed that it received authorization from the Hunan Red Cross Society Branch to receive organs, later decided to withdraw its claim.
The Hunan Red Cross Society Branch said it never authorized the Hefei Aier Eye Hospital to receive organs donated by patients, local media in Anhui reported.
"Xu could write in the applications that the cornea he donated will go to the Aier Eye Hospital. But the procedure must be completed by one of the four hospitals before the donation," Tang said.