Huang Jiefu Responds To Criticism Over Involvement In Organ Harvesting
Australian-trained doctor under fire for his involvement in China’s controversial organ transplant program has defended the practice and responded to calls for him to be stripped of honorary titles from the University of Sydney.
Dr Huang Jiefu’s honorary professorships be revoked over what is seen as the unethical practice of removing organs from prisoners thought to have been forced into organ donation.
China’s transplant program has long been condemned and sparked protests around the world because most of the life-saving kidneys, lungs and livers used come from executed prisoners.
China has announced it is preparing to phase out organ donation from condemned prisoners.
In a rare press briefing, Dr Huang, who served as China’s vice minister of health for 12 years, spoke to a small group of journalists to respond to his critics, saying Chinese prisoners must agree to have their organs harvested before they die.
"Our government already has regulations related to recovering organs from death row inmates," he said. "Consent is not presumed consent - written consent from the prisoner himself or herself as well as his or her family [is needed]."
But some say approval from prisoners condemned to death is not meaningful consent.
Photo: Chinese Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu after a conference in Taipei, Taiwan, in 2010. Huang has recently come under scrutiny for his involvement in and knowledge of illicit organ harvesting in China while vice-minister of health. © Bi-Long Song