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China dismisses reports of harvested organs from executed prisoners

[JURIST] China responded Thursday to criticism [press release, DOC] from the British Transplantation Society [organization website], which accused the country of harvesting and selling the organs of executed Chinese prisoners, by saying that similar practices had been used on patients in Great Britain a few years ago. The British group said Wednesday that an increasing amount of evidence has been uncovered which indicates that the organs of executed Chinese prisoners were being removed and sold without the consent of the prisoners or their families.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry [official website] spokesman acknowledged earlier this week that the use of organs without consent did occur, but said it was rarely done and illegal. Last month, the Chinese Ministry of Health [official website, in Chinese] addressed the issue by announcing a ban on the sale of human organs [JURIST report] in an effort to stifle the black market trade for prisoners' organs. Reuters has more.

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