China Selling Organs of Executed Prisoners

the organ trailRadley Balko often points out the stupidity of lawmakers trying to legislate everything from seatbelts for dogs to barring pizza from 1000 feet of a school in his popular meme — There oughtta be a law. Keep that in mind, because I’m going to do something libertarians rarely do, propose a law.

You see, in China, there’s this practice of selling the organs of prisoners (political or otherwise) who are executed and whose bodies aren’t claimed by the family right away. Apparently this process isn’t voluntary in the slightest:

CHINA: It’s illegal to buy or sell organs in China. But a 1984 law allows organs to be transplanted from an executed prisoner if family members don’t claim the body right away. Amnesty International says Chinese media reported 1,060 judicial executions in 2002. But it says the actual figure may be as high as 15,000. Most harvested prisoner organs are sold to medical “visitors” from Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore.

What’s so wrong with this? Well, it certainly gives new meaning to the term “profiling.” How comfortable would you be living in a country where your odds of going to jail might hinge on someone’s need for a kidney with your blood type? I can already picture Cheney drooling over the latest selection of Chinese dissidents with healthy hearts.

Well that’s China, and frankly there’s not a damn thing we could do to stop them from continuing that type of behavior. But we can make it a crime against humanity for an American to get an organ transplant from any person who did not willingly donate that organ, wherever in the world they may try and obtain it. A blog by the name of Say No to Crack has similar sentiments about tackling legal issues:

There are solutions to this, like opening up country markets to legalize this brand of human tissue trade. It sounds very invasive and immoral to most people, but if there are laws that tackled the issues surrounding the transplant trade there could be brighter futures for the buyer AS WELL as the poor sellers.

If social conservatives can rally around a retarded woman having a feeding tube removed by the state, then there shouldn’t be a problem getting them to back a law banning receiving international stolen goods or backing an international database of consenting donors as the only legal venue for American transplants.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. More than half of the people who need an organ transplant in the United States will die before they get one. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

    There is a simple solution to the organ shortage — give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 70% of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven’t agreed to donate their own organs when they die. People who aren’t willing to share the gift of life shouldn’t be eligible for transplants as long as there is a shortage of organs.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at LifeSharers has 3,374 members, including over 300 minor children enrolled by their parents.

  2. I do not believe in the selling of organs. I believe that if i was dying and someone needed my organ bad enough i would donate it to them. But as i see it is that my body was given freely to me, and he gave me life, if i could donate it to someone else to let them keep life i would but it is not for me or any one else to profit from. I think that it is wrong for those in China to profit off of the dead prisoners body’s. It’s not theres so why not just give them the proper barier, or if all else felled donate there organs to someone that could truely use them. The SELLING OF ORGANS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED.