Trans­plant op­er­a­tions face short­age of or­gans


China faces a se­vere short­age of or­gans for trans­plant op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

It is es­ti­mated that about 300,000 pa­tients ev­ery year need trans­plants, but only about 10,000 op­er­a­tions are per­formed.

China an­nounced in De­cem­ber that it was go­ing to stop us­ing or­gans from ex­e­cuted pris­on­ers for trans­plants as of Jan 1. Vol­un­tary or­gan dona­tions from cit­i­zens are now the only source for such surg­eries.

Health au­thor­i­ties have taken mea­sures to en­cour­age vol­un­tary do­na­tion of or­gans. As a re­sult, dona­tions have in­creased rapidly, the com­mis­sion said.

De­spite the in­crease, the se­vere short­age of or­gans isn’t likely to be eased quickly, said Chen Xin­guo, a liver trans­plant sur­geon.

Chi­nese peo­ple of­ten be­lieve a body should be left in­tact af­ter a per­son’s death, ex­cept for in­di­vid­u­als who have com­mit­ted great sins, he said. (Photo 3)

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