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Aussie Expert Believes China Is Harvesting Organs From Living Prison Inmates

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Aussie Expert Believes China Is Harvesting Organs From Living Prison Inmates

An Australian PhD candidate has released research into the alleged grim horrors experienced by Chinese prisoners, with data indicating authorities could be harvesting organs from living people.

China has some of the shortest wait times for organ transplants in the world, even though it has a low number of people registering to donate, according to News Corp.

The new research, published by Australian National University’s Mathew Robertson, investigated whether the Chinese prisoners were actually braindead before they were stripped of their internal organs.

“Our concern is whether the transplant surgeons establish first that the prisoners are dead before procuring their hearts and lungs,” he wrote in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Credit: Nick Moore / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Nick Moore / Alamy Stock Photo

Robertson made his grim discovery by analysing data from Chinese transplant publications.

The PhD candidate discovered 71 reports that revealed how ‘brain death could not have properly been declared’.

“In these cases, the removal of the heart during organ procurement must have been the proximate cause of the donor’s death,” Robinson reported.


“Because these organ donors could have only been prisoners, our findings strongly suggest that physicians in the People‘s Republic of China have participated in executions by organ removal.”

Organ harvesting from executed prisoners has been legal in China since 1984, however that's only allowed if the inmates have given consent before they die or if the body goes unclaimed by friends of family.

"While we don't know exactly how these prisoners end up on the operating table, we can speculate there are multiple troubling scenarios as to how this happens," Robertson said. 

"These include a bullet to the prisoner's head before being immediately rushed to hospital, or a drug injection that paralyses the prisoner."  


Human rights activists have repeatedly questioned the validity of a person giving prior consent before their execution.

A paper published in The Lancet stated: "It is clear from the numbers provided by China that not all of the organs for Chinese citizens and transplant tourists are provided by voluntary consenting donors."

An international tribunal in 2019 found that China had been forcefully taking the organs from prisoners. China denied this was the case.


Human rights researchers have previously investigated the China's harvesting practices of taking organs from marginalised political groups, specifically from the Falun Gong or Urghyr Muslim communities.

Robertson has expressed fears that a large number of prisoners could be losing their lives by execution during the organ retrieval process.

“We think that our failure to identify more brain dead death declarations violations relates to the difficulty of detecting them in the first instance, not to the absence of actual brain dead death declarations violations in either the literature or practice,” he said.

Featured Image Credit: Craig Stennett / Alamy Stock Photo. CTK / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: China, News

Rachel Lang
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