Not since those ghastly 19th Century killers Burke and Hare has Scotland’s premier medical establishment been associated with grisly profits from corpses, not that these days Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons (RCSE) is engaged in any criminal activity, or paying body-snatchers to secure ‘dissection material’. However this august institution is attracting concern as a consequence of one of its Fellows, Professor, Huang Jiefu, Deputy Chief of China’s Central Health Care Committee, responsible for the health of the core leaders of the Party and the state. This individual is praised by some within the wider medical establishment for aiding a claimed moderation of China’s medical atrocities regarding organ extractions. The Professor had during 2014 issued some ambitious and misleading claims that China would establish a voluntary organ donation system conforming to international standards.
According to Huang China would stop using organs from executed prisoners, an oblique assurance that no longer would countless numbers of political and death row prisoners face execution by having their organs ripped out of their bodies. Naturally the prospect of ending these harrowing atrocities was greatly welcomed by the international medical community. It was also greeted with an alarming degree of credulity, no doubt the standing of Huang Jiefu was seen as conveying authority. If he was issuing such statements it followed that China’s Regime was seriously committed to ending such harrowing violations.
If only matters were that transparently simple, however academics, medical colleagues lined up to praise Huang, citing him as a champion of human rights, others were less convinced. Concerns however were brushed away by repeating, as fact, the claims so carefully promoted by Huang Jiefu. Nor has the medical community taken account of the reality that his remit within the Chinese government does not extend to having authority over transplant reform, nor has it ever been applied in his public role!
A New York Times report (November 16, 2015) Huang Jiefu had previously announced (to international applause) that: “From Jan. 1, 2015, we will completely stop using death row prisoners’ organs as a transplant source. The only source will be organs from dead citizens who have voluntarily donated.”
However in the following twelve months the New York Times noted that under the new regime of supposedly not using organs from executed political or criminal prisoners, China’s organ supply showed no decrease!
..”organs from prisoners, including those on death row, can still be used for transplants in China, with the full backing of policy makers, according to Chinese news reports, as well as doctors and medical researchers in China and abroad. “They just reclassified prisoners as citizens,” said Huige Li, a Chinese-born doctor at the University of Mainz in Germany. Source: NYT November 16, 2015
Clearly the claims made by Huang that China now operates a voluntary organ donation system need to be viewed with considerable skepticism, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/world/asia/china-bends-vow-using-prisoners-organs-for-transplants.html medical atrocities continue on an industrial sized scale, with the knowledge and authorization of the very regime of which Huang Jiefu is part.
Just what was the Royal College Of Surgeons Edinburgh thinking in honoring a man so worryingly linked with such medical atrocities? An individual who has seemingly conceded that “….as recently as November, 2012 that he continues to perform about two liver transplants every week – so that would be 100 organs a year, and using his own figures, 90 to 95 per cent of those would have come from executed prisoners.” SOURCE: Falunda 2013/05/24/
We think it’s plain wrong that such a globally respected medical organization, with its commitment to ethical principles should choose to honor a man at the heart of a regime notorious for its record of abusing human rights. Thankfully in response to international criticism, in which we played an active and prominent role, the University of Sydney in 2015 decided not renew Huang’s fellowship. An action we hope will be followed by other academic and medical institutions and it’s hoped receive support from Scottish MSPs, all of whom we have contacted on this issue Appeal To Scottish MSPs
If you share our concern then please consider directly contacting the RCSE.
PA to President: Moira Britton and Fiona Ramsay
Tel: (+44) 131 527 1635
Fax: (+44) 131 557 9771