First national guideline on organ donations issued
China has published its first national guideline on organ donation to better regulate the process and further raise public awareness.
The guideline expounds on the ethics involved, the standards by which to judge death and the standards covering the extraction and distribution of organs.
The country began a voluntary organ donation trial in 2010 and promoted the practice nationwide in 2013. On Jan 1 this year, China banned the use of executed prisoners’ organs for transplants, making donations by citizens the only legitimate source. This year, 1,590 donors had given 4,414 major organs as of Aug 19, close to the total for all of last year.
About 300,000 patients need transplants annually, but only about 10,000 operations are performed, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Only 169 hospitals nationwide are qualified to carry out organ transplants, compared with more than 300 in the United States, and fewer than 100 surgeons in China are able to perform liver transplants, while several thousand can do so in the US.