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China bans international use of corpses in effort to end illegal organ trade

[JURIST] The Chinese Ministry of Health [official website] has approved new regulations [Xinhua report] governing the use and international transport of corpses in an attempt to crackdown on the illegal trade of organs. China has been criticized [BTS press release, DOC] in recent months for harvesting and selling the organs of executed prisoners without the consent of the prisoners or their families, but Chinese officials said in April that the use of organs without consent was illegal [JURIST report] and rarely occurred. The new regulation, which will take effect August 1, bans the use bodies for any purpose other than medical research and requires government approval before bodies may be transported in or out of the country for burial.

Separate regulations banning the sale of human organs [JURIST report], requiring written consent from organ donors and limiting the number of hospitals at which transplants are performed took effect July 1. AFP has more.

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