Six people, including four medical professionals, given prison sentences of up to 28 months for role in illegal transplants, reports the South China Morning Post</strong>. Families in Anhui province were tricked into signing fake consent forms
Three of the doctors were designated organ procurement officers at their respective hospitals. The Intermediate People’s Court in Bengpu, a city in Anhui province, found the gang guilty of harvesting organs from 11 patients between 2017 and 2018, jailing them for between 10 and 28 months, the report said.
According to court documents, Yang Suxun, former head of the intensive care unit at Huaiyuan County People’s Hospital, identified targets, mostly car crash victims or patients with severe brain damage. Yang then approached the patients’ families and persuaded them to agree to donate organs and then sent the lab test results to his accomplices in Nanjing.
The dead patients were then hastily operated on in a delivery van disguised as an ambulance and without the presence of staff from the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) or the patients’ relatives as required under the law. The organs would then be sold to individuals or other hospitals which members of the trafficking ring contacted secretly, according to reports.
The RCSC has been commissioned by China’s Ministry of Health to run the organ donation system. It also acts as a watchdog to ensure everything is done according to the law.
China has struggled to establish a voluntary organ donation programme that meets its transplant needs. In 2005, former health minister Huang Jiefu publicly acknowledged that China had harvested executed prisoners’ organs for transplant. A paper he co-authored six years later reported that as many as 90 per cent of Chinese transplants had used organs from prisoners.
Full South China Morning Post report