China Reconsiders Fairness of “Transplant Tourism” – Andrew Batson and Shai Oster

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Page One from the Wall Street Journal (Photo: Avraham Abelson testified in the Israeli parliarment about in China, via wsj.com):

A year ago, Avraham Abelson was No. 127 on Israel’s waiting list for a heart transplant. Doctors told the 65-year-old retired diamond dealer he’d probably die years before his number came up.

So Mr. Abelson, whose heart was damaged by a major heart attack, went to China. Today, inside his chest beats the heart of a 21-year-old Chinese man.

In recent months, however, controversy over the ethical issues surrounding the practice has come to a head in China, Israel and elsewhere in the global medical community. China’s Ministry of Health recently instructed hospitals to stop performing transplants for foreigners, arguing that patients from wealthy foreign countries shouldn’t be getting organs when not enough are available for Chinese citizens who need them. But it’s not yet clear how rigorously the new rule will be enforced. [Full Text, subscribers only]

Foreign business solicitation forbidden in organ transplants (Chinese) from People’s Daily Online: Only 10,000 of the 1.5 million Chinese who need organ transplants every year actually receive them. The government now wants to give priority to Chinese citizens.

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