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Why Is China’s Organ Donation Rate So Low?

Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu recently said in an interview that China can expect to achieve voluntary organ donation registration through driver license applications. Although it is only in the discussion stage, the issue has stirred up a hot debate. Every year about 1.5 million people are on the waiting list for organ transplants, but in 2010, there were less than 100 organ donations. A survey revealed that the organ donation rate in China is only 0.03:1,000,000, compared to the 34:1,000,000 in Spain. 

According to a recent survey, 78.9 percent of those interviewed would not agree to donate their organs while filling out the drivers license application; 14.1 percent said yes as it would remind them to drive more carefully. Some people worried that their organs might not be used fairly and reasonably due to the absence of transparency in the organ donation and transplant process. An interviewee even worried that in case of an accident, the doctor might not try his best to save him because he is willing to donate organs.

Source: Jiefang Daily, May 20, 2011