‘In China, the organs come easy,’ says nurse who handles Korean transplant tourists
- Korean patients are rushing to China for organ transplantation: 3,000 over three years, and that’s just in one hospital.
- Organs are readily available on demand.
- What is behind this mass supply of organs? Where does China procure this unlimited supply of organs?
- What about the human rights of those whose organs are taken away? Can the human rights violations in organ procurement practice be justified? Is killing for organs justified?
In the documentary “Killing to Live: The dark side of transplant tourism in China,” three Korean filmmakers travel to China under the pretense of purchasing a kidney for a fictitious relative.
At the “T Hospital” transplant center in Tianjin they meet a Korean-Chinese nurse who advises on procedures and costs for Korean patients who go to China for transplants.
“In Korea, you just wait for the much-needed organs forever,” she tells them. “But in China, the organs come easy. I don’t know where they come from. It takes just two hours for them to bring the fresh organs here.”
When asked how many transplants are carried out per day, the nurse answers, “Yesterday, one pancreas, three kidneys, and four livers.”
The wait time for these organs ranges between a few days and two months, the nurse says.
She then says the wait time can be cut even shorter if the patient donates money to the transplant center—the desired amount being 100,000 yuan (US$15,000).
“You pay the regular bill and pay the extra,” she says, adding that a kidney costs US$130,000.
In Korea, it usually takes five years to get a kidney alone, and many die while waiting. Other organs are almost impossible to get. In countries such as the United States and Canada, the wait time for transplant surgery averages around two years, depending on the organ.
Koreans who go to China for an organ transplant favor the T Hospital. It has 500 beds devoted to transplantation, according to the documentary, and the operating room functions around the clock, 24 hours a day.
The Falun Gong Connection
The documentary asks the obvious question—where does such a ready supply of organs come from—and concludes that they’re procured illegally from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China, live “donors” who die during the extraction process. In other words, they are killed on demand for their organs to feed China’s highly lucrative transplantation industry.
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a traditional spiritual discipline espousing the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance that spread across China and around the world in the 1990s.
Fearful of its immense popularity and its focus on improving moral character, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a campaign of persecution against Falun Gong adherents in July 1999 that continues today.
According to the China Organ Harvest Research Society, China began conducting research and clinical experiments in human organ transplantation in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 2000 that the industry entered a period of exponential growth—which coincided with the start of the CCP’s campaign to eradicate Falun Gong.
“Bloody Harvest,” a 2006 report by Canadians David Matas and David Kilgour, found that Falun Gong prisoners of conscience were being killed on a large scale for their organs—something Matas described as “a form of evil we have yet to see on this planet.”
Citing an update to that report released in 2016 by Matas, Kilgour, and American author Ethan Gutmann, the documentary explains that Korean patients began going to China in large numbers for transplant surgery in the early 2000s—an estimated 2,000 per year.
“Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter – An Update” found that the 169 government-approved transplant hospitals across China had the capacity to perform more than a million transplants since 2000.
The report stated: “The Communist Party’s demonization and brutalization of Falun Gong and the health system’s insatiable demand for organs have formed a symbiosis. Each feeding on the other, the combination became an unprecedented, and barely imaginable, human catastrophe.”
Brain Death Machine
The filmmakers discovered the existence of an apparatus called the Primary Brainstem Injury Machine, aka the Brian Death Machine. They talked to a researcher at the Chongqing Military Hospital, which is officially licensed to use the machine.
“This would cause brain death, but the other organs are not damaged,” the researcher says of the machine.
The Brain Death Machine was invented by Wang Lijun, former vice-mayor and police chief of the megacity of Chongqing and also the former head of the Liaoning Research Center.
Wang worked at the center between 2003 and 2008, during which time he also invented an injectable drug that kills without damaging organs. According to the documentary, he admitted to conducting clinical trials on live human beings to test the drug, which has been patented.
Kim Daygeong, editor of NTD Television in Korea, describes Wang as “a violent and inhumane officer.”
“He experimented on the human bodies of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners,” he says.
Wang is currently serving a 15-year prison term on charges of abuse of power, bribery, and defection.
What About Human Rights?
South Korea’s TV Chosun produced “Killing to Live,” first aired in November 2017, for its weekly program “Investigative Report Seven,” hosted by Yun Jeongseop.
“No wonder Koreans are rushing to China for organs,” Jeongseop says, noting that there are 32,000 Koreans on the waiting list for donors.
But there is an “ethical issue,” he says, given that “the organs are highly likely taken illegally” and “the organ removal is suspected to be the mode of execution.”
“What about the human rights of those whose organs are taken away? Can the human rights violations in organ procurement practice be justified?” he asks.
Matas, an acclaimed international human rights lawyer who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize along with Kilgour for their work in exposing forced organ harvesting in China, spoke recently about the deeper meaning of human rights.
“Human rights become meaningless if they are left to experts. Human rights belong to each and every one of us, simply because of our common humanity. Unless we assert those rights, they will wither and die,” he said on June 12, 2018, at the University of Alberta, Canada, where he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.
“Human rights violations are a spreading stain. Unless we stop them before they get to us, we will become victims. If we wait for that, it will be too late. We must exercise human solidarity when there is still enough of us who are not victimized for that solidarity to matter,” Matas said in his convocation address.
“Crimes against humanity have that name because they are crimes against all of us. When crimes against humanity are committed, we are all victims. We all suffer loss from the victimization.”
At the end of the documentary, Jeongseop says a robust voluntary organ donation program is the key to combating organ tourism to China, noting Spain’s very successful “opt out” system, whereby all citizens are automatically registered for organ donation when they die unless they state otherwise.
“Transplants involve human rights, ethics, and human instinct for survival,” he says. “It is your decision to make.”
Editor’s note: Special thanks goes to TV Chosun for making this important documentary. The more done to raise awareness about the atrocity of killing for organs in China the better, as this abhorrent and inhuman practice must stop. Please do your part to help and share the link to the film and article far and wide.
Watch the video here:
South Korean TV Documentary Confirms Organ Harvesting Still Occurring in China from Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH).