Mindset an obstacle to organ transplants in China

Strait Times Dec 14The Straits Times | December 14, 2014
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By Rachel Chang

BEIJING - Madam Chen Xiu's kidneys have been failing for 12 years.

While the 52-year-old former gynaecologist's life is now dominated by thrice-weekly dialysis sessions that cost 800 yuan (S$170) each time, she refuses to have her husband or her three children - aged 14, 15 and 24 - donate their kidneys to her.

"She thinks that our health will suffer and she won't allow it," said eldest daughter Chen Lili, an administrative assistant in Shaanxi province where the family lives. "So we just keep waiting for a kidney to come from somewhere."

Such a mindset is at the root of a longstanding organ shortage in China, where about 300,000 patients are in need of organs every year, but only 10,000 transplants are carried out.

The dire state of affairs is about to get much worse. About a week ago, China announced it will stop its controversial practice of transplanting organs from executed prisoners from Jan 1 next year. This came after years of procrastination...

Read the complete article here.

Read the DICG statement commenting on news of the policy change in China here.

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