Banning Human Organ Sales in Free Countries Encourages Coercive Organ Harvesting in Unfree Ones
Two new films, one a documentary and one a drama based on the same facts, expose one of the most horrific markets operating today: Communist China’s selling of organs harvested from prisoners of conscience.
Ten thousand “transplant tourists” travel annually to communist China, where they pay top dollar to get organs transplanted on demand. The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby summarizes how China became the go-to destination for desperate patients on waiting lists:
China was killing enormous numbers of imprisoned men and women by strapping them down to operating tables, still conscious, and forcibly extracting their organs—and then delivering those organs to the hospital transplant centers that have become a major source of revenue. Chinese officials claim that organs come from violent criminals on death row. But “Human Harvest” makes it clear that most of those killed are peaceful citizens persecuted for their beliefs: Tibetans, Uighurs, Christians—and, above all, practitioners of Falun Gong, a Buddhist-style spiritual movement of peaceful meditation and ethical commitment.
Free countries may not be able to stop this horrific practice, but they could reduce the demand for these organs by allowing free people to exercise the choice to sell their organs. Currently, free countries rely only on altruism, which has resulted in severe shortages of organs and black markets.