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China to ban human organ sales in black market crackdown

[JURIST] The Chinese Ministry of Health [official website, in Chinese] announced Tuesday that it will ban the sale of human organs in an effort to stem a rising black market trade [Independent report] for organs of executed prisoners. The Ministry announced stricter regulations taking effect July 1 that will require written consent from organ donors and will limit the number of hospitals at which transplants are performed. Cases brought under the new regulation will be handled by an ethics committee.

Although the regulations lack binding legal effect, the World Health Organization [official website; China backgrounder] said it was a step in the right direction. The organ trade in China largely focused on executed prisoners [2001 US State Dept. testimony], with rights groups estimating that between 5,000 and 12,000 prisoners are executed each year. Reuters has more.

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