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China Using Criminals’ Organs For Transplant Trade, Says Report

Thu., Oct. 16, 1997

Chinese military hospitals are using kidneys and other organs from executed criminals to perform transplants for foreigners willing to pay as much as $30,000, ABC-TV reported on Wednesday.

Working undercover, producers from ABC’s “Prime-Time Live” met with a Chinese doctor in New York City who said he had already arranged for several transplants to Americans. He told the producers that a new batch of kidneys would soon be available.

Captured on a hidden camera, the doctor asks for part of the $30,000 payment in advance.

A Chinese newspaper published in New York advertises “kidney transplant in mainland China. Don’t miss the opportunity,” ABC said.

ABC also interviewed Apple Yoonuch, a woman from Bangkok who said she underwent a transplant at the Nanfung Military Hospital in China.

“Third of January, the doctor called me that there will be an execution,” she said. “It means that prisoners, some prisoners, are going to be shot dead. So I have to come over and prepare myself to get the operation, kidney operation.”

A press spokesman was unavailable at the Chinese Embassy in Washington on Wednesday, according to a phone message. An embassy statement issued to ABC said the organs of executed criminals are used in transplants rarely and only with the consent of the prisoners or their families.

An official with the International Transplantation Society said the practice is barbaric and “makes me cringe.”

“The consent issue as far as I’m concerned is a bogus issue,” said Dr. Ronald Guttman. “It’s a justification for what they’re doing.”

ABC also aired videotape made by the Chinese military showing guards making sure an executioner’s gun is placed at the back of a condemned person’s head to ensure the retrieval of intact organs.

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