[JURIST] U.S. special forces obtained a document [PDF] during a raid in eastern Syria sanctioning the harvesting of human organs. The document permits the harvesting of a captive’s organs to save a Muslim’s life, even if it is fatal for the captive. Previously, Iraq has accused Islamic State of harvesting human organs and trafficking them for profit. The document does not provide proof that Islamic State actually engages in organ harvesting or organ trafficking, it simply provides the sanctioning to do so. In February, the U.N. Security Council was urged to investigate [CNN report] the deaths of twelve doctors in the Islamic State-held city of Mosul who were supposedly killed after refusing to remove organs.
Organ havesting has been a reoccurring issue. China’s organ donation policies have long been criticized by international human rights groups, which alleged that China routinely harvest organs from executed criminals and accident victims without the consent of the donors’ families. In 2009, it was reported that 65 percent of China’s organ donations [JURIST report] came from executed prisoners. China pledged in 2007 at a World Medical Association [profession website] meeting to end the practice [JURIST report] of harvesting prisoners’ organs, except for donations to relatives. This decision came after criticism by the British Transplantation Society [advocacy website], which accused China [JURIST report] of selling organs harvested from executed prisoners. China denied these and other allegations [JURIST report], saying that all donors must give consent before their organs are used.