China to phase out prisoner organ transplant scheme 'next year'
BEIJING (AFP) - China will start phasing out the use of executed prisoners as a source of organs for transplants next year, a researcher for the government has said, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) magazine.
China will introduce a new organ donation system to "relinquish the reliance on organs from executed convicts", Dr Wang Haibo, a senior researcher at China's Ministry of Health, told the November edition of the Bulletin of the WHO.
"An organ transplantation system relying on death-row prisoners' organs is not ethical or sustainable," Dr Wang said, adding that the new system would be launched "early next year at the latest".
China has long vowed to reduce its reliance on death-row inmates for organs, but high demand and a chronic shortage of donations mean they have remained a key source, a situation that has generated heated controversy.