Organ Harvesting

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A great piece on the issue of organ harvesting in China and the dilemma facing all foreign reporters in China trying to cover the story by Daily Telegraph’s Richard Spencer. Keying off a new report issued on the subject in Canada, he summarizes the state of knowledge about “this disgusting form of evil.” He also dissects the moral and practical problems of trying to cover specific allegations by the Beijing-banned Falungong sect. It is a comprehensive, textured and incisive examination of an extremely thorny issue and a timely reminder about a subject that can get lost in the storm of “China is the future, hallelujah” stories”. The money quote, as my fellow Time blogger Andrew Sullivan would say:

the most recent report highlights things which are undoubtedly true and important, and increasingly admitted by the Chinese government itself:
– there is a substantial business in selling executed prisoners’ organs
– many of the consumers are foreigners
– the organs are provided suspiciously quickly, indicating that either prematched prisoners are being executed to order or that there must at any time be a substantial pool to choose from
– much of the work is being done by military hospitals, or in civilian
hospitals by military surgeons
– there is a total lack of transparency about everything to do with this issue: the numbers of people executed every year; their names; which have their organs removed; the documents in which they are supposed to have
signed their agreements; the numbers of Falungong prisoners incarcerated; their names, and sentences.

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