top of page

China is Executing Political Prisoners by Organ Harvesting

Written by Heidi Klessig MD and originally published on LifeSite News on June 26, 2024. Read the original article here.

The evidence is clear: Chinese prisoners of conscience are being dissected to death and sold for parts to the highest bidder.


On June 20, 2024, the Delaware House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the forced organ harvesting of political prisoners in China. Delaware’s House Concurrent Resolution 143 strongly condemns China’s practice of involuntary organ harvesting and encourages the Delaware medical community to warn patients that anyone traveling to China for an organ transplant risks becoming involved in the murder of Chinese prisoners of conscience.


Texas passed even stronger legislation into law last year, banning Texas health insurers from funding organ transplants performed with organs originating in China. Utah Governor Spencer Cox recently signed similar legislation into law, which took effect on May 1, 2024. And Idaho Governor Brad Little also signed his state’s legislation into law, so that as of July 1 “it will be illegal in Idaho for health insurers to cover organ transplant or post-transplant care performed in China.”

China’s track record of forced organ harvesting is well-documented. In 2022, the American Journal of Transplantation published Matthew P. Robertson and Dr. Jacob Lavee’s article revealing 71 reports of Chinese organ harvesting in which death was not properly declared. “In these cases, the removal of the heart during organ procurement must have been the proximate cause of the donor's death. Because these organ donors could only have been prisoners, our findings strongly suggest that physicians in the People's Republic of China have participated in executions by organ removal.”

“In these cases, the removal of the heart during organ procurement must have been the proximate cause of the donor's death."

China in recent years has developed one of the largest and most sophisticated systems of organ transplantation in the world, with wait times far shorter than in most other countries. The PRC maintains that as of now all organ transplants are from willing donors, but the numbers appear to be falsified, according to Robertson and Lavee’s previous research. Moreover, hospitals continue to advertise short wait times for organ transplants, and websites continue to advertise commercial organ transplants to tourists. This suggests that voluntary donors are likely not the only source of organs at present.

In a Radio Free Asia report, Uyghur surgeon Enver Tohti recalled his experience of being forced to remove the kidneys and liver of a prisoner in China. (Tohti now resides in London under political asylum.) As the only ethnic minority present on the surgical team, Tohti was initially tremendously relieved when he learned that he was there to retrieve organs: “I thought they were going to execute me.” The details of Dr. Tohti’s experience are recorded in The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem by Ethan Gutman. Tohti remembers the prisoner’s chest heaving spasmodically as he made his initial incision, and that the blood was still pulsing as he worked. He was sure the man was alive: “I am a killer,” he thought to himself. The next day, his chief surgeon confronted him: “So. Yesterday. Did anything happen? Yesterday was a usual, normal day, yes?”

In a recent podcast, Gutman and Tohti estimated that 25,000-50,000 political prisoners are being executed in China by organ harvesting every year. Formerly most of these were Falun Gong practitioners, but now Muslim minorities (Uyghurs, Kazakhs) are also being targeted. Apparently, wealthy people from the Persian Gulf States will pay organ brokers 3-4 times the usual price to obtain an organ from a Muslim donor. Gutman, who co-founded the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, interviewed a Kazakh doctor about his experience in internment camps in western China. The doctor reported that young, healthy Muslim minority prisoners are subjected to unexplained medical exams and blood testing, and are required to wear color-coded bracelets. Following this, they are either announced to be leaving “to go work in a factory” or vanish in the night.

Despite all these facts, when Arizona lawmakers passed a bipartisan bill against Chinese forced organ harvesting, Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed it. She attributed her veto to a section of bill that would have also blocked Arizona hospitals and research labs from using Chinese genetic sequencing equipment. According to the Epoch Times, China’s military-linked, state-funded gene bank, BGI (Beijing Luihe), collects the DNA of mothers and fetuses worldwide through its prenatal screening tests. This personal data has the potential to be used for both organ matching and surveillance. The US Commerce Department has sanctioned BGI “in connection with conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.” Why would Governor Hobbs veto a bill designed to protect prisoners of conscience and Muslim minorities? And why would she justify her veto as being needed to protect Chinese genetic testing facilities that have been sanctioned by the US government? Legislators in Arizona will now have to wait until January 2025 before submitting another bill against this egregious practice.

The American Medical Association has issued a policy statement on forced organ harvesting for transplantation that “condemns the retrieval of organs for transplantation without the informed consent of the donor.” The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ position statement on forced organ harvesting goes even further:

“The United States government and American physicians should refuse to condone, enable, facilitate, or participate in forced organ harvesting, as by: Educating or Training personnel from a totalitarian country like communist China, or any other country, in skills that might  be used for forced organ harvesting or referring patients to programs that use forced organ harvesting or participating in their care.”

Israel, Spain, Italy, Taiwan, Norway, and Belgium have already passed laws against forced organ harvesting. And last year, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 1154 which would sanction and revoke the passports of anyone involved in forced organ trafficking. But the Senate version of this bill (S. 761) remains stalled in committee.

The evidence is clear: Chinese prisoners are being dissected to death and sold for parts to the highest bidder. Everyone must speak out against this tremendous atrocity. We need legislation now to end US complicity in the murder of these helpless prisoners of conscience.

Addendum: On June 25, 2024, the US House of Representatives passed a second bill, the Falun Gong Protection Act (H.R. 4132), with the goal of shutting down China’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. The bill invokes civil penalties of up to $250,000 and a criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

72 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page