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China Agrees Not to Take Inmates' Organs.

Chinese medical officials have agreed not to transplant organs from prisoners or others in custody, except into members of their immediate families, according to an Associated Press report. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the World Medical Association in Copenhagen.

China had acknowledged that kidneys, livers, corneas and other organs have been removed from prisoners sentenced to death row, though officials insisted that this only happened when consent was provided. Critics have argued that death-row prisoners were not truly free to consent and may have felt compelled to become donors, violating personal, religious or cultural beliefs.

Last year, the WMA adopted a resolution stressing the importance of free and informed choice in organ donation, stating that prisoners and other individuals in custody were not in a position to provide consent. They demanded that the Chinese Medical Association condemn any violation of these ethical principles and ensure that Chinese doctors were not involved in the removal or transplantation of organs from executed prisoners. "We shall now continue our dialogue with the Chinese Medical Association and include other national medical associations in a project to find best practice models for ethically acceptable organ procurement programs," Dr. Edward Hill, WMA's chairman, told the AP. In a letter to the WMA, the Chinese Medical Association said it would work to strengthen the management of organ transplantation and prevent possible violations of the Chinese government's regulations.
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Publication:Transplant News
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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