Dec 3, 2014 10:23 PM
China to end prisoner organ transplants on Jan. 1
The Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) China says it will cease transplanting organs taken from executed prisoners on Jan. 1 in response to human rights concerns, although uncertainties linger over where a replacement supply will come from.
China has previously said it would phase out the practice by sometime in early 2015. But state media reports Thursday announced the first firm date for ending the practice, citing the architect of China's transplant system, Huang Jiefu.
Critics have long said that standard safeguards were ignored when obtaining organs from prisoners who may have been pressured to donate.
China has one of the world's lowest levels of organ donation because of ingrained cultural attitudes and a legal requirement that family members give consent before organs are donated, even if a person had expressed a desire to donate.