Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews

Why journals should stop publishing transplantation research from China

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 26 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1069
  1. Adnan Sharif, consultant nephrologist1 2
  1. 1Department of Nephrology and Transplantation, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, UK
  1. adnan.sharif{at}
    Follow Adnan Sharif on Twitter @AdnanSharif1979

Harrowing but credible allegations indicate forced organ harvesting at scale from prisoners of conscience

In 2019, in London, the informal China Tribunal concluded that crimes against humanity had been conducted, and are likely still occurring, in China, with the systematic murder of prisoners of conscience for their organs.1 Parliamentary bodies in Europe,2 the US,3 and Australia4 have also found this allegation credible.

Organ donation and transplantation in China are largely secret: official statistics are sparse, unvalidated, and have been systematically falsified, research shows.5

Implausible official data

China reported 19 462 solid organ transplants from 5818 deceased donors in 2019.6 It had previously denied sourcing organs from judicially executed prisoners (not prisoners of conscience),7 then claimed the practice stopped in 2015.8 It now reports just 2.13 million people on its fledgling voluntary organ donor register.9 In any country, only a tiny fraction of registered donors die in circumstances that facilitate organ donation. In the UK last year, 26 million registered people yielded only 790 actual deceased donors.10 The UK system is well established,11 however, and positive public attitudes towards it yielded a further 790 non-registered actual deceased donors last …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription