Science

Vatican Defends Invitation To China For Organ Summit

By Jose Paolo Calcetas , Feb 08, 2017 08:47 AM EST
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The Vatican stood by its decision to invite China to this year’s organ trafficking. The said invitation earned the ire of the international community who underlined China’s massive record of obtaining the internal organs of executed inmates. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) said that the invitation was given without confirmation whether China is still continuing the practice. However, they do hope that the event will be able to encourage change not only with China but also among all countries who will partake in the conference.

Human rights groups claimed that forced organ harvesting from executed prisoners still remains a practice. Beijing, on the other hand, denied the allegations and claimed that they have ended forced organ harvesting in 2015. Joining the bandwagon of protesters against China, the Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) said that China’s participation in the event will compromise the integrity of the conference. They also added that PAS should reject the claims of China versus organ harvesting until further investigation to prove that it is no longer implemented has been proven.

Dr. Torsten Trey told the BBC that there is no reason to trust China’s claim that it has ended forced harvesting of executed prisoners without proper due investigation. Falun Gong, an exercise-based spiritual movement, claimed that some of their members were killed so that their organs can be sold. The group became known, and eventually was banned after being suspected as a cult. The group included members who are Christians, ethnic Tibetans and Uighurs.

According to The Guardian,Medical Ethics expert Dr. Wendy Rogers from the Macquarie University in Australia warned that China’s participation in the event, and a chance to meet with Pope Francis, might boost the propaganda of its forced organ harvesting. In a protest letter he wrote to the Vatican, he said that the Pontifical Academy of Sciences must be aware that China is even using indirect endorsements to propel the reputation of its unethical practice.

Organ donation is not rampant in China alone. Last year, the U.S. recorded 33,606 organ transplants. This is an 8.5 increase compared to their records in 2015.

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