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Stiffer penalties proposed for organ trade

08-24-2010 11:07 BJT Special Report:16th Meeting of the 11th NPC Standing Committee |

By Wang Huazhong (China Daily)

BEIJING - China is intensifying its crackdown on the illegal buying and selling of human organs in a draft amendment to the Criminal Law that will outlaw the trafficking and unauthorized harvesting of human organs.

The draft amendment was submitted on Monday to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, for its first reading.

It states that those involved in the illegal trade of human organs, including organizing, coercing and tricking others into donating and taking human organs from a deceased person without the donor's consent, will be subject to a five-year or longer jail sentence, plus fines and confiscation of property.

Each year in China nearly 1 million people need kidney transplants and 300,000 need liver transplants, but only around 1 percent can get them legitimately due to a lack of donations, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.

Organ trafficking "seriously harms the society and arouses people's strong reactions," said Li Shishi, director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Anyone who solicits others to sell human organs will get five years in jail and a fine, the draft amendment reads. In "serious situations," the jail term could be more than five years with a fine or property confiscation, it says.

Harvesting organs without consent of the owner, harvesting organs from people younger than 18, or forcing or cheating others to donate organs will be punished according to Article 234, which addresses the intentional injury of others' bodies.

In 2007, the State Council, China's cabinet, issued a regulation banning organ trafficking.

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