April 09, 2013 | By Minghui correspondents Zheng Haishan and He Yu
(Minghui.org) Pittsburgh, the “Organ Transplantation Capital of the World,” is in shock since March this year by crimes committed by the Chinese Communist regime in harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, and it has been a hot topic of discussion locally.
In downtown Pittsburgh, one can see a number of vehicles driving around on the main roads, with huge display boards carrying the message, “Stop Organ Harvesting.” For days, volunteers, braving wind and snow, held banners and display boards in the busy Market Square and in front of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, handing out information materials and collecting petition signatures.
The forum “Transplant Abuse in China” held at University of Pittsburgh and the documentary “Free China” at Carnegie Mellon University also attracted many scholars, lecturers and students.
Information desk outside UPMC about live organ harvesting
Signing a petition at Market Square against the CCP’s brutal persecution of Falun Gong
Conference on Transplant Abuse in China held at University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has 22 hospitals and over 400 outpatient sites and doctors’ offices, among them the Pittsburgh Transplantation Institute established in 1985 (later renamed Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute – STI). STI is the largest and most prestigious institute of its kind in the world, and the only one that can conduct multi-organ transplantation, representing the highest standard in organ transplantation internationally.
STI has close cooperation with a number of hospitals in China. According to incomplete statistics on the website of Xian Jiaotong University, in 2007 alone, 130 organ transplant doctors were trained at the UPMC, out of which 70 specialized in liver transplantation. A cooperation center was jointly set up in Shanghai by China’s Zhongshan Hospital and STI. The two parties have a mutual exchange of scholars, visits and lectures on relevant subjects. Directors of China’s Tongji Hospital and Peking Union Medical College Hospital also personally led delegations to visit UPMC.
Today, as atrocities of live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners are being exposed, people in Pittsburgh are appalled by these horrendous crimes against humanity.
Experts: These crimes violate the most basic moral values; they must not be tolerated
Well-known Health Law Professor Nathan Hershey
Professor Nathan Hershey is a well-known expert in Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh, co-author of the Hospital Law Manual and Human Experimentation and The Law, which have been implemented in hospitals across the United States. He said after attending the conference “Transplant Abuse in China”, that he knows the Chinese regime does not respect human rights… the regime decides who should be organ donors, they (crimes of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners) violate the most basic moral values, and must not be tolerated. He said that when he goes back, he will do more research and do his best to stop crimes of live organ harvesting.
Ethics of Primary Importance in Organ Transplantation
Prof. Christopher Hughes, M.D., surgical director of liver transplantation at STI
Prof. Christopher Hughes, M.D., surgical director of liver transplantation at STI, attended the forum on “Transplant Abuse in China.” He said the transplantation community has heard about the Chinese regime’s harvesting of organs, and he signed the petition against such crimes.
Dr. Hughes believes that transplant doctors must pay attention to the issue of medical ethics and the operations must keep to the highest ethical standards. He says that organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners is a tragedy beyond imagination both in terms of human rights and medical ethics, and the UPMC will be discussing how to deal with visiting surgeons from China.
Henkie Tan, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery of the Living Donor Kidney Transplantation Program at STI, was the first to perform purely laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy at STI and served as the 2005-06 chair of the American Society of Transplantation Kidney and Pancreas.
Dr. Tan said, “Everybody, any transplant position, any transplant personnel is against this. This should never happen, we’re surprised that it’s happening, there’s no doubt about it, it just shouldn’t happen. It needs to stop.” He hopes that he will be able to provide more help to stop such atrocities.
Former Public Health Officer: “This is a horrendous crime”
Mr. Nick Solic, former Public Health Officer of the Allegheny County Council, Pittsburgh
Mr. Nick Solic, former Public Health Officer of Allegheny County Council, Pittsburgh said in an interview regarding the atrocities of live organ harvesting that “This is a horrendous crime.”
Mr. Solic said that they need to be addressed legally somewhere. “If there are abuses of human rights and things are not able to be taken care of in China, they could be brought before the international court.”
He thought that China’s current leader Xi Jinping should explain the organ harvesting issue, otherwise he will take the responsibility for crimes committed by his predecessor Jiang Zemin. “If the crime was started under previous leadership, and the new leadership doesn’t do anything to change it, then they also become liable.” he said.
If China sends doctors to be trained in Pittsburgh, Mr. Solic said, even if they don’t know where the organs came from, doctors involved at the hospital in Pittsburgh should also be liable…. as doctors, even if they only suspect that the source of organs may be illegal, they have the responsibility to question the legitimacy of the transplant.
He suggested that there could be a worldwide consumer boycott of organs in China that are perceived to be harvested involuntarily. All of society should apply pressure, prevent patients from going to China for organ transplant, and refuse to offer them any post-transplant treatment.
There should be a regular petition outside certain hospitals known to send patients over regularly for organ transplant, and such pressure should continue, Mr. Solic suggested, to raise public awareness and to work on all levels.
Renowned lawyer: The Chinese Communist regime won’t change its nature
Mr. David Matas, renowned Canadian human rights lawyer
Mr. David Matas, renowned Canadian human rights lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and co-author of the book-length investigative report, Bloody Harvest, was present at the forum on “Transplant Abuse in China” on March 28, 2013. He commented after the forum from a professional point of view on the dismissal of Huang Jiefu, China’s former Deputy Minister of Health, and pointed out that people should not hold any illusions that the Chinese Communist regime will make a change on its own.
“The Chinese regime hopes to cover up their complicity, escape trial, and get immunity. This is all part of the regime’s plan.”
He said that Huang Jiefu was the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health. His dismissal shows that the Chinese regime does not want to make any change on the organ transplant system. They removed him, so when people try to find out who is to blame, they cannot find anyone responsible.
“Some people say that the Chinese regime will change,” Mr. Matas said, “This is because they do not understand the nature of the Chinese Communist Party.” He believes that it is impossible for a transplant system which is legally binding and regulated with professional ethics to exist in an autocratic communist society, full of torture and persecution.
Mr. Matas pointed out that one cannot hope the Chinese Communist regime will stop the persecution on its own, “The persecution of Falun Gong is happening everywhere in China, from top to bottom. Crimes are being committed everywhere,” he said, “If someone wants to stop the persecution of Falun Gong, it will touch the core nature of the Chinese Communist Party. As for the Chinese Communist Party, it’s impossible for it to change itself.”
Signing a Petition to Stop the Organ Harvesting
UPMC staff member Karen Kropf was deeply moved by the persevering spirit of Falun Gong practitioners. She took many copies of truth-clarification materials to give to her colleagues and friends
Chinese student from Carnegie Mellon University keeping the volunteers company in support of their truth-clarification efforts
There have been many touching stories in recent days:
–One man was so shocked by the atrocities of organ harvesting in China that he shed tears and called out to passers-by to come and sign the petition.
–A man came over, knelt down, took off his hat and solemnly signed the petition.
–A man said that he is a supporter of organ transplantation and his son donated his organs to others after he died, but he is strongly against the transplant abuse in China, and against the organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime.
In the last two weeks, volunteer workers handed out 50,000 copies of the special edition on live organ harvesting, and more than 11,000 people signed the petition. More than 350 Chinese students and scholars quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations after learning the truth.
CATEGORY: Organ Harvesting