China to make human organ donations easier
Updated: 2006-09-12 17:25

Beijing - China is drafting new laws to make it easier for people to donate their organs in a country with long transplant waiting lists, the Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.

There are about two million people in China who need transplants each year, but only around 20,000 operations are carried out because of shortages, Xinhua said.

China earlier this year banned the sale of human organs, and the health ministry now requires the written consent of donors and restricts the number of hospitals allowed to perform transplant operations.

The regulations will standardize the organ donation procedures and encourage people to become donors.

"Many more donors are needed, but they often meet difficulties when they apply, so the ministry must standardize the application process and technology of transplants, which is complicated and risky," said ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an.

Mao was responding to questions about reports of would-be donors having their wishes unrealized because of confusion over the procedures or which agency to apply to.

The regulation would specify the whole application process and stipulate the requirements for medical institutions conducting transplants.

"Only the medical institutions that meet the technological requirements can undertake transplant surgery," said Mao.

Foreign media have reported that organs are taken from executed criminals, but the Ministry of Health denied this in April, saying most organs in China had been voluntarily donated by ordinary citizens on their deaths and a small number from executed criminals who voluntarily signed donation approvals.


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