Human Exceptionalism

China Promises to End Harvesting the Executed

China has–for a second time–promised to stop organ harvesting those it executes. From the BBC story:

China has promised to stop harvesting organs from executed prisoners by 1 January, state media report…Death row inmates have long served as a key source for transplants.

This is not the first such promise:

It has said for many years that it will end the controversial practice. It previously promised to do so by November last year.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Realize that a lot of these organs did not go to the Chinese people. Rather, they were sold to people like author Dana Asa Rose, who bought a kidney for his cousin and then wrote a comedy book about it called Larry’s Kidney. But it wasn’t Larry’s kidney. It almost surely belonged to prisoner who was tissue-typed and killed for the money Rose paid.

The organ market in China has been huge, with organs selling for tens of thousands and more. That means tremendous corruption. Not only that, but the organ market is already supposed to be illegal but still carries on..

Time will tell if China keeps its words, but color me doubtful.

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