Debate Flares Over China’s Inclusion at Vatican Organ Trafficking Meeting

New York times, 

Dr. Huang Jiefu, co-chairman of the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee of China, at a meeting on organ trafficking at the Vatican on Tuesday. Credit Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

BEIJING — A politely worded but testy debate has flared over a Vatican conference on human organ trafficking, with a group of ethicists warning that China will use the participation of its most senior transplant official to convince the world that it has overhauled its organ procurement system.

In a letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome, where the two-day Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism began on Tuesday, 11 ethicists wrote: “Our concern is with the harvesting and trafficking of organs from executed prisoners in China.”

China has admitted that it extracted organs from death row prisoners for decades, in what critics have called a serious violation of the rights of inmates who cannot give genuine consent. Since Jan. 1, 2015, Chinese officials have said they no longer use prisoners’ organs, though doubts persist.

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