The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Why the fuss?

This headline on BBC caught my eye today: China 'selling prisoners' organs'

You can go read the article, but the headline pretty much covers it. China has been acused of selling thousends of executed prisoners organs for transplant abroad, by a British surgeon.

I don't really get why this is considered such a terrible thing; especially in the UK, which regularly debates the merits of making organ donation compulsory, with an "opt-out" card, rather than an "opt-in" card as we currently have.

China is a communist country - therefore it is illegal to follow any of the God religions. I know that doesn't necessarily cut much ice, but China's home-grown religion does not have any hang-ups about the sacrosactity of the body once death has come - or even about death really. As far as I am aware, your ancestors spirits hang around their family whatever the method, place or age of death. In a communist country, your body belongs to the gov't first while you are alive - let alone while you are dead.

In a communist country, all medical care is free, and everyone is entitled to the same care as everyone else. Therefore if one person recieves a transplant, thoretically every person who needs one is entitled to one. Where are all those organs going to come from? You need people who have died before their natural time. In Western societies, we get a lot (but nowhere near enough) from road deths. Except for Beijing & Hong Kong, China doesn't get that many road deaths. They do execute a lot of "criminals" (even more than the USA, although the population numbers are quite different too.....). It seems a sensible source of organs to me.

I am completely for the compulsory harvesting of organs, providing people who feel strongly can opt out. The only problem that i see with China's policy is that they didn't offer that option to the prisoners as they kept the policy secret (they still deny it BTW). Oh, and that i'm against the death penalty:-)

China has promised to stop selling organs altogether by july.


  • At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:10:00 pm, Blogger RCA said…

    The most sinister comment for me was this "Professor Stephen Wigmore, who chairs the society's ethics committee, said the speed of matching donors and patients implied prisoners were being selected before execution." (Taken from Sky News)....

    Is the implication that you are more likely to be executed if your organs match???

  • At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:29:00 pm, Blogger Aginoth said…

    Probably no more likely than if you are Black or Poor or Both in the US.

    Personally I am absolutely against the Death Penalty, and do not consider any country with it to be truely civilised nor developed.

    Thankfully the European Union saw to all member states having to abolish it as a condition of membership, and so the last few capital crimes in the UK had teh death tariff removed in the early 90's.

  • At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:35:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    and that would be a worse way of selecting who on the chinese equivelent of death row dies first than......?

    Who can afford the best lawyer?

    Who will look best on TV?

    Who has a bigger public voice?

    If you are going to execute 3,500 prisoners a year, the last thing we need to worry about is who gets to be killed on Tuesday & who can hang out in prison till Wednesday week!

  • At Friday, April 21, 2006 2:43:00 pm, Blogger Bill said…

    The other problem I see with this is that China also has political prisoners.

    I would like to assume that The Chinese government is moral enough not to attempt to turn a negative (political dissidents) into a positive (spare parts), but I do not have that much trust in communism even though I am a socialist.

    And I share your opinion on capital punishment. see


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