China could become number one for organ donations

Updated:2017-12-01 10:19:57

  China could become the top country for organ donations by 2021, Huang Jiefu, chairman of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee and former vice-minister of health said on Thursday.

  The total number of organ donors in China is expected to reach 7,000 this year, he said. The number of live donors, such as those who donate a kidney for their relatives in need, is estimated as more than 1,900 this year.

  China now ranks second in numbers of organ donors. The number of organ donors in the United States last year was more than 9,000, Huang said.

  Voluntary donation has been the only legitimate source for organ transplants since 2015.

  On Thursday, Huang also criticized a head transplant experiment performed by a Chinese surgeon on a corpse earlier in November. He said it was meaningless, technologically impossible and violated ethical rules.

  He also called on health authorities to investigate and hold members for ethical inspection at the university hosting the experiment in Northeast China accountable if they are found to have been failing in their responsibilities.

  Surgeon Ren Xiaoping led the team carrying out the head transplant at Harbin Medical University in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. The operation sparked a heated controversy among medical experts.