Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What is The Price of Life?

In America the average wait for an organ transplant is 4 to 5 years; however, there are often not enough voluntary donors for everyone to get the vital organ transplants that they  need. In fact many people die while still on the waiting list. There is an alternative, with enough money  vital organs  can be obtained legally in less than 15 days. Thus many people travel to China, and are willing to pay upwards to $70,000 for the vital organ transplants that they need.

The Chinese hospitals seem to be saving lives; however, unlike America, China has no voluntary organ donation system. In fact most Chinese people believe that the body must remain intact after death.  So where are China's limitless supply of organs coming from?  Since the 90's followers of Falun Gong, a religious philosophy that preaches purity of the mind and body, were detained and sent to work camps.
Many of the detained disappeared. While China claims that the organs were taken voluntarily from prisoners who were on death row, China also claims that it's organs come from donors have no history of mental illness, drug abuse, or disease. While most normal criminals are gang members, like Triads who are known to abuse drugs and carry hepatitis, prisoners of conscience like followers of Falun Gong are noted for keeping there bodies pure by not smoking, drinking, and even staying abstinent. In addition, members of Falun Gong who were released due to illness from camps reported being given blood and urine tests among entering the labor camps.

If the dark secret of China's organ harvesting was not disgusting enough recently it seems organ harvesters have become so bold as to target children.

This summer netizens on Sina Weibo were taken aghast when reports emerged that  6 year old Xiao Binbin had his eyes gouged out. Initial reports included that his eyes were found nearby with the corneas missing. Later reports emerged that law enforcement suspected the boys aunt for horrendous crime. As a result she committed scuicide. Many saw her as a scape goat in the case. However with the mass poverty in China and the goverments large rewards for turning in usable organs it is feasible that people could be pushed to such extremes. 
Overall, perhaps the most disturbing detail is that American citizens are still traveling to China for these operations. Alas, does the end really justify the means?



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