Donors of organs easing transplant shortages
Updated: 2013-08-14 08:22
By Wang Qingyun and Shan Juan (China Daily)
The fast development of voluntary organ donations have made it possible for hospitals to no longer rely on death-row prisoners for transplants, Huang Jiefu, director of the China Organ Donation Committee, said on Tuesday.
He said 1,010 people had voluntarily donated their organs after death.
"Several hospitals have applied to do transplants only with sources of voluntary donations," he said.
Wuhan University's Zhongnan Hospital is the first of 165 hospitals qualified to do organ transplants that no longer performs transplants with organs from death-row inmates.
Gao Xinpu at the National Organ Donation Management Center, an organization under the Red Cross Society of China, said that since the launch of a national program to encourage more donations in 2010, more than 1,000 people nationwide had agreed to donate organs after their death and 2,742 patients have benefited.
The number of people making donations each month from January to June this year varied from 44 to 67, he said. "This is vastly more than when we started, when there were only 33 in the whole year," Gao said. "However, what the public - including many medical workers - think about organ donation is still deeply influenced by tradition."
The center has carried out an outreach program to advocate organ donation in communities, schools and hospitals in Beijing and Jilin province, and the efforts will continue, he said.
Chen Jingyu, vice-president of Wuxi People's Hospital in Jiangsu province and a chest surgeon, said he hopes city and provincial governments involved in the program will attach importance to organ donations.
"If they all advocate the cause, organ donations will develop very fast," he said, although he predicted it could be another five to 10 years before China no longer depends on death-row inmate's organs.
"It's not only good for the country's image, but will also save more people's lives," Chen said. "Many patients died in my hospital before they can get a lung donation. We've received donations from about 10 people since 2011."