Do­na­tions of or­gans save 3,000 pa­tients

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Nearly 1,300 Chi­nese cit­i­zens have do­nated or­gans posthu­mously for life­sav­ing trans­plants this year as of Thurs­day, sav­ing more than 3,000 lives, an of­fi­cial said.

The num­ber of pub­lic or­gan do­na­tions in 2014 is ex­pected to ex­ceed the to­tal in the four pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar years com­bined, said Huang Jiefu, di­rec­tor of the China Or­gan Do­na­tion Com­mit­tee and a for­mer deputy health min­is­ter. China in­tro­duced its na­tional or­gan do­na­tion sys­tem in early 2010.

Un­der the sys­tem, Chi­nese can do­nate or­gans after death to save pa­tients in need of trans­plants, and more than 2,730 do­na­tions have been made so far.

How­ever, “a ris­ing num­ber of do­na­tions still falls short of the de­mand,” Huang said at an or­gantrans­plant con­fer­ence in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince. The con­fer­ence con­cluded on Fri­day.

Huang said that about 300,000 Chi­nese pa­tients need or­gan trans­plants each year, but only 9,000 could get one largely due to the low num­ber of or­gan do­na­tions.

Hao Linna, vice-pres­i­dent of the Red Cross So­ci­ety of China, said or­gan do­na­tion is a great benev­o­lence that re­flects a civ­i­lized so­ci­ety.

The Red Cross and the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning So­ci­ety op­er­ate the do­na­tion sys­tem na­tion­wide, and “more than 31,100 peo­ple have signed with the so­ci­ety to be­come a vol­un­teer for or­gan do­na­tions,” she said.

Huang, a lead­ing liver trans­plant sur­geon, said: “It also has long been a dream for gen­er­a­tions of Chi­nese trans­plant sur­geons to Gave or­gans posthu­mously this year sav­ing more than 3000 lives. Chi­nese cit­i­zen’s

or­gan do­na­tions in 2014 ex­ceeded do­na­tions of the pre­vi­ous four years com­bined. es­tab­lish an eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able or­gan do­na­tion sys­tem that meets the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard as well as the de­mand from Chi­nese peo­ple.”

Be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of the do­na­tion sys­tem, vol­un­tary or­gan do­na­tions made by death-row in­mates had long been a ma­jor source, Huang said. “That sparked crit­i­cism, par­tic­u­larly from the out­side world, de­spite the fact that writ­ten con­sent was re­quired for the pris­on­ers’ do­na­tions.”

Zheng Shusen, China’s lead­ing or­gan trans­plant ex­pert and mem­ber of the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing, said that the num­ber of death sen­tences have been de­creas­ing, and so “it’s cru­cial to fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the course of or­gan trans­plan­ta­tions to set up a more re­li­able and eth­i­cal source of or­gan trans­plants”.

He urged more peo­ple to embrace the idea of or­gan do­na­tions after death to help save lives.

To up­hold pub­lic benev­o­lence, “a fair and trans­par­ent al­lo­ca­tion of do­nated or­gans has to be en­sured,” Huang said.

For that, the health au­thor­ity has set up a com­put­er­ized, ur­gency-based dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem, he said.

Also, or­gan trad­ing is strictly pro­hib­ited, as the Eighth Amend­ment of Crim­i­nal Law in May 2011 added or­gan trafficking as a crime.

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