China’s or­gan do­na­tion pro­gram hailed

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Li Ruo­han in Shang­hai

An Aus­tralian fam­ily ex­pressed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for China’s or­gan do­na­tion sys­tem on Wed­nes­day, say­ing that they be­lieve ef­forts are be­ing made to en­sure that it is “su­per­vised, open and law­ful.”

The re­marks were made by fam­ily mem­bers of Ken Storey, an Aus­tralian tourist who died of heart fail­ure on Fri­day at the age of 74.

Storey was hos­pi­tal­ized on May 30 from a heart at­tack in Shang­hai while trav­el­ling with his wife.

Storey’s fam­ily de­cided to do­nate his or­gans on June 6. But the do­na­tion was not per­formed as Storey died be­fore pro­ce­dures and pa­per­work, in­clud­ing kin­ship and mar­riage cer­tifi­cates are fin­ished.

The de­ci­sion was made unan­i­mously by the fam­ily, said My­fanwy, Storey’s el­dest daugh­ter.

She told the Global Times that it would have also been her fa­ther’s de­ci­sion, who had a great pas­sion for China and love for its peo­ple.

As there is no spe­cific law or reg­u­la­tion on for­eign do­na­tions in China, the pro­ce­dures are done with ref­er­ence to that of Chi­nese donors, Zhang Ji­dong, vice pres­i­dent of Renji Hospi­tal, where the surgery was sched­uled to take place, told the Global Times.

The pro­ce­dures in­clude ob­tain­ing unan­i­mous con­sent from the pa­tient’s im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers and strict med­i­cal as­sess­ments, Zhang said.

Storey was about to do­nate his liver and both kid­neys.

As of Wed­nes­day, 10 for­eign­ers have vol­un­tar­ily do­nated their or­gans in China. They were from the US, the UK, Aus­tralia, Ja­pan, the Philip­pines and Greece, ac­cord­ing to data pro­vided by the China Or­gan Trans­plan­ta­tion De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion.

It shows that China’s or­gan do­na­tion and trans­plant sys­tem is be­ing rec­og­nized by more and more peo­ple world­wide, who are “im­pressed” by the re­forms and con­sider do­nat­ing or­gans in China as an “hon­or­able” move, said Huang Jiefu, for­mer vice min­is­ter of health and cur­rent head of the foun­da­tion based in Bei­jing.

My­fanwy said her fam­ily was con­vinced that the or­gans would be put to good use by rel­e­vant pro­ce­dures which were law­ful and reg­u­lated, as well as the pas­sion of Chi­nese med­i­cal staffers, whom she said had al­layed her pre­vi­ous con­cerns.

“The stigma of or­gan pro­cure­ment from pris­on­ers in China is some­thing of the past and we felt China has made ef­forts to make or­gan do­na­tions [an] open [cause],” My­fanwy said.

Every part of the process was ex­plained, su­per­vised and done with the sup­port from hospi­tal staffers, said My­fanwy, who is a lawyer in Aus­tralia.

China banned the use of do­nated or­gans from ex­e­cuted pris­on­ers in 2015 and re­quired do­nated or­gans to be dis­trib­uted through a com­put­er­ized sys­tem to en­sure a fair, trans­par­ent and trace­able process.

My­fanwy said that she will ex­press her feel­ings in Aus­tralia as much of the in­for­ma­tion about China’s or­gan do­na­tion and trans­plant sys­tem is “bad stuff” that dif­fers from her ex­pe­ri­ence and feel­ings.

She said she be­lieves China is tak­ing steps to do the right thing and that foun­da­tions are en­gaged to make sure that or­gan do­na­tions are le­gal.

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