China is the “Wild West” of biomedical research at the moment. Not bound by tight regulations, while fuelled by inflows of new money, Chinese scientists have been able to shape leaps and bounds in recent years. This, of course, can come at a high cost.
If you receive an organ transplant in China, there’s a chance it was harvested from an executed captive. Many of China’s executed captives are not assassins and violent criminals, but “prisoners of conscience, ” such as Falun Gong practitioners and political prisoners imprisoned for their beliefs.
The Chinese government has consistently denied collecting organs from prisoners, rejecting the amount claimed as “sensational lies” and ”vicious slander”. Nonetheless, a new report in BMJ Open argues that the grim pattern could still be alive and kicking today. As a upshot, they are calling for the retraction of over 400 scientific research papers on transplantation because the data was obtained unethically. They likewise call for journals and researchers to take a tougher posture on implementing ethical guidelines by banning the publication of studies that used organs from a questionable source.
The team of Australian researchers from Macquarie University obtained 445 studies carried out by China researchers, published in English language periodicals, in which there were 85,477 organ transplantations. Merely 63 papers, merely 14 percentage, included any informed about the source of the organs, while 99 percentage did not disclose that the donors had given approval for transplantation.
Up to 192 of the working papers, 43 percentage, has just taken place when “the only organs available for transplant” were from implemented prisoners.
While there is no brand-new direct evidence of organ gleaning in the study, China’s history of gleaning organs from captives has been well-established and throws strong doubt on its promises to reform. In 2006, the Kilgour-Matas report investigated whether Chinese researchers were secretly gathering the organs of Falun Gong practitioners, a persecuted minority who follow a spiritual pattern that mixes musing, qigong efforts, and a moral philosophy based on compassion.
“Based on what we now know, we have come to the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true, ” that report concluded. “We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ convulsions from reluctant Falun Gong practitioners.”
In several reports from the report, former political prisoner speak about suspicious action in labor camps that indicates organ collecting was taking place.
“Some physicians were brought in to give us medical checkup. When we heard about this, we were very perplexed, ” one Falun Gong practitioner clarified. “The staff there beat and abused us, employing every possible means to torment us. How come they wanted to have us go through a medical examination? ”
“Now looking back, they did not care about us at all, but were trying to find suitable organs from us for transplant.”
The call for retraction is unprecedented as this is the first study that has looked at whether journals comply with the international ethics standard on organ transplant donor consent, which clearly many don’t.
“There’s no real pressing from research presidents on China to be more transparent, ” lead author Wendy Rogers told the Guardian. “Everyone seems to say,’ It’s not our job’. The world’s stillnes on this brutal problem must stop.”