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Vatican faces outcry for inviting Chinese official to organ summit

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j729 (Published 09 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j729
  1. Josephine McKenna
  1. Rome

Doctors and medical ethicists have strongly criticised the Vatican for inviting a Chinese health official to a summit on organ trafficking, despite claims that China still sanctions the removal of organs from executed prisoners and ethnic minorities.

Huang Jiefu, a former health minister and chairman of China’s national organ donation and transplant body, dismissed suggestions that the practice of organ removal was ongoing.

“That is a rumour,” Huang told The BMJ outside the summit hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. “I am the person who arranged to stop using prisoners’ organs from January 2015,” he said. “I had strong support from the highest leaders.”

The Vatican invited Huang to the two day summit which included 80 transplant doctors, health officials, and legal experts from around the world. Archbishop Marcelo …

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