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Beijing Times: More Work Needed to Encourage Mainland Chinese to Consider Donating Organs

Xinhua carried an article, which had originally been published by Beijing Times, stating that more work is needed to encourage people to consider donating their organs. The general public’s perception needs to change at the same time that fair and just procedures are implemented.

According to Huang Jiefu, China’s Vice Minister of Health, China is building an organ donation system. It is also considering putting together a stimulus plan to provide the donors and their family members with a certain level of economic compensation, including waiving hospital and funeral charges, aid, tuition discounts, and a reduction in taxes.

The article further stated that it will be difficult simply to relying on financial incentives to encourage more people in China to consider organ donation. It pointed out that the key factor that prevents the Chinese people from donating organs is that they are deeply influenced by China’s traditional values. One’s body is given by one’s parents; (the dead should) retain their intact body and reach peace until they are laid to rest. Another concern that people have is a lack of transparency about the distribution of organs as illegal organ trading is reputed to be taking place. The article concluded that it is imperative that people’s thinking changes, while an open and fair donation system is also needed.

According to statistics, each year in China, one million patients are on a waiting list for kidney transplants, 300,000 for livers, and 200,000 for hearts, lungs, and other organs. However there are only 13,000 patients who undergo organ transplant surgery each year. The article stated that here is a severe shortage of organs being donated.

Source: Xinhua, November 25, 2012