Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Report on forced organ harvesting in China (chinatribunal.com)
238 points by Scotrix 24 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 186 comments

A friend who traveled widely in China back in the '80s described a busy cornea transplant trade around the prisons in outlying areas. Wait times were typically one day. One day.

The report this is referencing is available here[0]

The tribunal was setup, for what it is worth, by a campaign group called: "International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China"[1]

[0]: https://chinatribunal.com/final-judgement-report/

[1]: https://endtransplantabuse.org/

Could you please answer the question in this comment? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20250367


It was probably flagged to death and revived by an admin.

Truly jarring if this is true. The systematic persecution of and violence against political opposition is one thing, the oppressive surveillance another, but I think forced organ harvest (especially on living people!) crosses a line.

What can we do?

Lines are crossed all the time. Makes me think of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

Suddenly now the concentration camps are the lesser evil of stealing organs from political enemies.

There is something brilliant about using a group of people who intentionally keep their organs in the best possible condition (Falun Gong does exercise, avoids alcohol, smoking, and some foods, etc.) as your oppressed-minority-live-organ-banks.

OTOH, I think the only reason they were hated was due to being popular and somehow offending or scaring someone in power. They were tolerated or even supported for a long time and then suddenly The Enemy.

The Falun Gong repression is probably one of the greatest examples of evil in the world today.

> I think the only reason they were hated was due to being popular and somehow offending or scaring someone in power.

The idea of not being the highest authority to the people is the scariest thing to any authoritarian power.

That's why they are closing churches, jailing pastors, and rewriting scripture in China as Christianity’s popularity grows[1].

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/13/china-christia...

It's incredible the mysticism that outsiders assign to Falun Gong. If Falun Gong were in the West, you'd look at them the same way you look at Scientologists and anti-vaxxers. The entire premise behind Falun Gong is that it cleanses your body of diseases such that you won't need medication.

So you had people literally dying from abandoning their medication in favor of Falun Gong exercises while the leader collected fees from giving seminars/selling books on his system.

Remove the context of this taking place in the evil country that is China, and all you have left is just another cult leader selling snake oil.

There is a fundamental difference between anti-vaxxers and the Falun Dafa (Falun Gong is the same thing, I'm referring to it as Falun Dafa because that't their preferred name). The Falun Dafa take active steps to avoid needing Western medicine (you aren't as likely to go into depression if you exercise and do stuff every day, and thus not need anti-depressants) whilst most anti-vaxxers are only united in not giving their children Western medicine. It's one thing to say "I don't like that option, so I won't take it", and another to say "I don't like that option, so I'll do something else".

Do I agree with all of Falun Dafa's beliefs? No, I do not.

Should they be chopped up and their organs harvested? NO.

above your comment is an attempt to assign cult status to Falun Dafa. Classic smear, and has been China's go-to for years.

This doesn’t help either as cultural context


A hard line stance on China’s human rights abuses, currency and trade manipulation, and intellectual property theft will be a top requirement for my support of 2020 US presidential candidates.

While I'd imagine you'd ignore U.S. abuses and provocations, (Iran?), I imagine? Is China worse than Saudi Arabia for example? Because I can't imagine U.S. speaking strongly against KSA, can you?

The U.S. doesn't really care about human rights, or its own abuse of them, (was any top official prosecuted for Iraq?), so you'd be voting for posturing.

Yes, China is worse. It harvests tens of thousands of organs from political prisoners. It holds hundreds of thousands of minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang. And that barely scratches the surface.

The KSA needs to face severe repercussions too, but repression, censorship, and extralegal assassinations are all in a day's work for the PRC.

> It harvests tens of thousands of organs from political prisoners.

Is this actually proven?

> It holds hundreds of thousands of minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang.

KSA outright levels cities with minorities in them, so am not sure how they're better.

> repression, censorship, and extralegal assassinations are all in a day's work for the PRC

As far as I know, China does not repress women anywhere near the level that KSA does, nor does it require 'guardians', nor does it perform public beheading, prosecute people for 'witchcraft etc. so while am not claiming China is great, I am fairly certain it's less repressive than the KSA overall.

This very article is about the organ harvesting. What it amounts to is that it's impossible for China's number of listed donors to have supplied all the organs necessary for the recorded number of transplants, by a substantial amount.

The PRC could easily dismiss this by providing transparency into its organ donor procurement system, but it takes a hard line on limiting all information about it.

Numerous eyewitness accounts also testify to the forced organ donation, though I find first person accounts less compelling than actual statistics and observing how the government actually behaves.

Cite on the KSA leveling cities? Or is this just a weird way to reference the (terrible) war in Yemen?

> Cite on the KSA leveling cities? Or is this just a weird way to reference the (terrible) war in Yemen?


>> It harvests tens of thousands of organs from political prisoners.

> Is this actually proven?

Sadly yes.

At least it is proven behind all reasonable doubt that they are killing prisoners for organs (proven by the simple fact that there seemed to be an endless supply of matching organs with next to no waiting).

There's also eye witness testimony from at least one doctor as well as recordings where transplantation clinics go far in describing how they use the finest organs from people who have lived a very healthy life - and if I remember correctly - actually sometimes going as far as saying falun gong.

As scarmig I'm a little less convinced by the eyewitness testimony (hiring a few actors would be an excellent way to hurt your enemies && people might have other reasons for portraying the place they left behind as evil) but still, all taken together my guess is that is not what is happening here.

Especially considering they were running a transplant industry that was big enough to cover rich western people as well.

If you run the numbers it becomes very clear that something odd was/is(?) going on, and it is something that - for what I know - might easily compete with a number of genocides for a place on the top 20 most evil things that have happened the last 100 years.

See, this is pretty typical of how the Chinese are told about their own government’s abuses in schools and media: “but what about the other guy?!”.

It’s just not a valid argument. It serves only to change the topic and justify nationalism.

I'm not from the USA, so I can't vote, but IMHO if the candidate truly cares about human rights will condemn equally and publicly the crimes in China, Saudi Arabia or any other country , if it only talks about the Chinese or Iranian one, just when there's a big manipulation campaign against those countries I know that candidate is a liar and is scamming the voters who fall for it. Also it's the same card some US people play when they are told about the abuses of their government/businesses, hey look at Iran , look at China, ...

Many of us want candidates to go after Saudi Arabia, but what does that have to do with China?

Candidates only talking about one means that they don't mind about human rights, that they are only doing these for , economical reasons, someone wants to wage a economical war with China that will cost USA lots of money, but some companies will get huge amounts of money and power, so first you declare them the evilest country in the world and then continue.

They did it with Afghanistan , later with Iraq.

OTOH the are silent about other places like SA or many other dictatorships in the world. Hypocrisy and blatant lies about human rights. And yes, the Chinese government is really fucked up. No one can deny that.

KSA is a US ally, so our military aid makes us complicit in crimes against humanity. We don’t have a Similar level of engagement or leverage with the PRC.

The US has a strong trade and military relationship with KSA, despite their utterly appalling human rights record. It's entirely legitimate to say "If this is really about human rights, why are you selling hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to an authoritarian regime?". That isn't whataboutism, it's a fundamental critique of the motivations of foreign policy decisions.

Analogy: Joe and Paul are gangsters with a nasty reputation. Paul is in hiding because the police department have declared him public enemy number 1, while Joe was a guest of honor at the last police benevolent society dinner. Are you not at least the tiniest bit skeptical about whether the police chief is really trying to fight crime?


It is possible for a person to believe that both Joe and Paul, broadly speaking, do nasty things.

On one hand, they have dealt with Joe for a long time and, while the relationship is far from perfect, they and Joe have a sort of understanding and Joe takes their opinions into account, in part with all the opinions of other stakeholders, when they're very insistent about it.

On the other hand, Paul in recent memory has committed truly unspeakable atrocities against masses of even his nominal stakeholders--and this hypothetical person may not even have the 'favor' of being one. Paul is obviously much more hostile to his stakeholders (Great Leap Forward, June 4/Tiananmen, Xinjiang concentration camps, Falun Gong genocide, ubiquitous hyper surveillance, etc. etc.). Paul has recently become much more rich and powerful, and has started asserting that power in ways that would totally violate the understanding between our person and Joe. At the same time, Paul has been asserting his power in other person-gangster relationships, dictating terms and helping those gangsters better oppress their own stakeholders.

Are you even the tiniest bit skeptical about whether our person's interests best lie in a maximally adversarial relationship with Paul vs. with Joe? Our person may very much want a better relationship with Joe. If they see Paul as a bigger threat, though, then it makes perfect sense to focus on confronting Paul.

As the saying goes, punish one educate hundreds. You can Paul first and then go after Joe later if he does not improve.

This is not fair, but politics is not primarily about fairness. It’s about reaching you goals (here: establish human rights world wide).

To your analogy, yes, police is fighting crime because getting Paul in jail would reduce rate by 50%. And after that, they can focus on Joe. It’s not nothing or everything (false dilemma/perfect solution fallacy).

Except, they're not only not going after Joe, they're actively hosting him. That's a crucial difference.

I just want OP to be aware that if he wants to vote for somebody like Trump for i.e. his 'stance' on China, it's worth noting that the U.S. doesn't really care, it's just posturing, this is not to say I like what China does here, if they're indeed doing it.

It's possible to hold both of these positions i.e. being against the Iraq war and not believing that the U.S. really believes in the propaganda they're putting out on it does not mean you had to like Saddam.

The minority of voters voted for Trump. Statistically you’re even less likely today to find his supporters. I’m more than happy to criticize my own country, its actions, its leaders, and the people that enable them. In case you haven’t noticed a lot of Americans don’t hold their government in high regard.

Feel free to keep shining the light on those abuses, we need to remember them and learn from them.

Now, what about China?

The thing that most commenters here in tacit support of China fail to take into account is that China and the US are global superpowers (unlike the litany of baddies that have been mentioned here)... The US taking a hard line on China can have a cascading affect. The US can’t boil the ocean in regard to fixing all of the worlds ills, and we’re by no means perfect. China is simply the best hill to stand our ground on at the moment.

> The US can’t boil the ocean in regard to fixing all of the worlds ills, and we’re by no means perfect. China is simply the best hill to stand our ground on at the moment.

That sounds suspiciously like "changing myself is hard, so I'll try to force my neighbor to change instead".

China would certainly be a high-impact change on the global human rights situation (so would the US be), but on the other hand the probability of change seems somewhat low (especially because you are right: they are close enough to the US in strength that they can't be bullied around that easily). Moonshots are nice and certainly valid as side bets, but not as the primary strategy. Let's work on Turkey and the Saudis, they are "allies", somewhat dependent on Western support (Saudis) and money (Turkey) and nudging them into the right direction can make a huge difference. Reward them generously if they do, and you may see it spread. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

It would have the nice side-effect that we'd clean up our back yard a bit, too. Credibility does matter on these things where people will question your motives.

> It’s just not a valid argument.

It's not a valid argument for the Chinese to justify their practices, you are right in that.

It is a valid argument for critics that are (collectively) guilty of similar abuses, however. In this case: why make China's abuses the issue of your vote instead of your government's abuses? The US government has limited power over the Chinese (and so your vote has even less), but it has full power over itself. Pledging your vote to somebody that will not create new wars sounds more reasonable to me than pledging your vote to someone that promises to be "tough on China". The horrors in Libya that the Obama administration is responsible for are arguably worse than China's human rights abuses in their Gulag system.

First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye and all that.

We can't go too far with this logic, though. Nobody's perfect yet I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone reflects on themselves, finds out they aren't perfect themselves, and just passively watches human rights abuses.

It is absolutely vital that we do improve what we can and start with ourselves but we should not get carried away with that idea to a ridiculous degree. Someone who has committed crimes can and should still speak out if someone is committing something absolutely abhorrent in plain view instead of remaining silent.

Certainly, that is a theoretical possibility.

Note that I'm not suggesting ignorance and passivity. I prefer this route: 1) get your house in order before you try to fix the world 2) start with small, achievable improvements 3) be just in your judgement.

> Someone who has committed crimes can and should still speak out if someone is committing something absolutely abhorrent in plain view instead of remaining silent.

Absolutely. Yet he may have to answer why his own abhorrent acts should be ignored, especially when they aren't from the distant past and he hasn't shown to be a changed man. The lion telling the tiger he should go vegetarian for moral reasons ...

I think most countries criticizing this don’t have an active organ harvesting and internment camp operation against ethnic and religious groups, though. I would rather compare it to a drunk driver judging a serial rapist, at least if we’re going to look one decade or so into the past.

> I think most countries criticizing this don’t have an active organ harvesting and internment camp operation against ethnic and religious groups, though.

That's true, though I have a feeling the "guests" at the US black sites would've preferred to be transferred to Chinese Gulags. Were Libya, Iraq or Syria drunk driving accidents? I suppose we might disagree here.

Everybody always claims they do the terrible things they commit to make the world a better place tomorrow. Who you support in their doings and who you call a villain is up to you. I suppose if HN was created in China and majority Chinese, most here would argue differently.

I'm not arguing that the black sites weren't horrible, however thousands of people being kidnapped by the CIA is less than almost a million people kidnapped by China in Xinjiang. And this is only talking about what China has knowingly done indiscriminantly towards innocent civilians, the torture and disapperances of people who have been charged or investigated for crimes against the Chinese state (which is more comparable to how people were put into the black sites) is mind boggling, in some cases just writing a blog post has resulted in torture. The wars in Libya, Syria and Iraq did see their share of human rights abuses, and yes some of these crimes were denied by the US, but by and large the US worked with the local population as best they could and investigated soldiers for war crimes when there was sufficient evidence which is light years more than what can be said of what the Chinese government has done which is permanently in denial mode.

Not saying the US shouldn't address and improve their own record of human rights abuses, and indeed address those that are currently ongoing (such as the detention of immigrants without a trial), but claiming that they have no business criticizing the ongoing, orders of magnitude larger Chinese human rights abuses is going to make the world a worse place.

I suppose we have different perspectives, you compare the absolute numbers, I take China's size into consideration. Broken down to a country of Saudi Arabia's size, they'd have some 10000 people in prison, not millions. Nevertheless, I agree with you that their deeds are appalling, though I tend to have some understanding for authoritarianism, even the violent kind.

My problem with the way you paint Libya, Syria and Iraq (there was some overreach, but by and large, they were working with the locals) is that this shifts responsibility away from those that attacked. They removed the state and the stable equilibrium of powers and installed ... nothing. As expected, the territories degenerated into a tribalistic civil war with all kinds of horrible things (which, and how many, of these groups were created/led/funded by the CIA, we'll likely know at some point in the future). ISIS/ISIL are a direct consequence of this policy, and so are slave markets in Libya. Certainly these weren't declared goals, but I don't believe the top officials to be stupid, they were well aware of what happens when you remove the dictator of a country that is only held together by his iron first - especially when they did it over and over, allegedly expecting different results.

> Not saying the US shouldn't address and improve their own record of human rights abuses, and indeed address those that are currently ongoing (such as the detention of immigrants without a trial), but claiming that they have no business criticizing the ongoing, orders of magnitude larger Chinese human rights abuses is going to make the world a worse place.

But this wasn't stated anywhere, was it? The OP said that focusing on China would be a major factor in his voting decision. He was asked whether he'd ignore US abuses. As I tried to clumsily state elsewhere: it's much easier to change your own behavior than that of others, so if it's "I want less abuse in the world" that you want, start with your own and make "end the abuse" the top priority in your decision who to elect into the office of the president and commander in chief of the most powerful offensive military in the world. No Iraq, Libya, Syria and a million or two wouldn't be dead, with many millions more displaced and on the run. My feeling is that China, with all the terrible things they do, still has to stretch a lot to come close to that.

Again, more whataboutism. The topic at hand is the PRCs unlawful harvesting of organs from ethnic and religious minorities, and the genocide (yes, genocide, read the report) this represents.

The topic at hand was that the treatment of China would be the deciding issue for the OP's voting.

This is a textbook case of whataboutism. The US is not perfect, but let's not get distracted when the topic at hand is the forced harvesting of organs and genocide of religious and ethnic minorities.

Whataboutism is called a fallacy for a reason...Suggesting a wrong isn't wrong because of others actions of wrong is middle school age moral logic at best.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

In the context of someone stating their presidential preference I don't think this logic applies. It's legitimate to ask why someone would make this particular topic their single issue.

There are many potential human rights issues, abroad and at home at stake, so the question why the topic of China takes priority is a valid one.

> suggesting a wrong isn't wrong because of others actions of wrong

Except I didn't claim that anywhere. All I claim is that any U.S. stance such as the OP would like to see is likely not principled, so actually voting on this issue is not a good idea, in my opinion anyway.

"U.S. abuses and provocations, (Iran?)," - this is a two sided coin.

> this is a two sided coin

Tangibly, sure, but not really. Iran followed the nuclear agreement, the U.S. violated it and has been openly escalating ever since. This does not mean Iran is an angel, but it does mean the U.S. is the aggressor here.

Iran’s support of terrorism throughout the Middle East makes your comment - “does not mean Iran is an angel” - a major understatement.

Except that "Iran’s support of terrorism throughout the Middle East" is a pretty vague statement that does nothing to answer the question of the U.S. not upholding its side of a deal Iran was following as certified by international bodies multiple times, it does nothing to answer for U.S. support for regimes that support terrorists, itself shipping weapons to extremists, it does not justify needless provocation and escalation towards war, nor sanctions that kill ordinary Iranians, prevent medical supplies from entering the country etc., (which is also the impact on Venezuela for example, not just Iran).

As an European, China, Iran etc. do not hold the moral high ground in world affairs in my opinion, but that's kind of expected, few think they do. What seems to be the case is that somehow the U.S. thinks it still holds that ground, where I find it not to be true not only internationally, but increasingly domestically too.

And because U.S. citizens have the most power over their own government, I think holding it to account should be of the highest priority when voting.

"U.S. abuses and provocations, (Iran?)"

I don't consider getting our drone bombed out of the sky and backing down from a missile strike a 'provocation'. It's much better than our previous administration's idea, which is to give them money to go away and hope they don't use it on nuclear weapons against us.

"The U.S. doesn't really care about human rights, or its own abuse of them"

Sure it does. There are stories every month about people in our military getting prosecuted for abuses. I don't think I've heard one story about this happening in China or Saudi Arabia.

"so you'd be voting for posturing"

It's not all or nothing. Nothing the US is doing even compares to the horrors of China. It's good to have a candidate against this.

I seriously doubt this will ever happen. Trump is the only president that would even broach the idea of punishing China. If a Democrat gets into office in 2020, it will be business as usual and the problems will be kicked down the road, like they have been with Iran.

It's weird to speak of literal organ harvesting and the legal fiction (admittedly, an arguably useful fiction) of intellectual "property" in the same sentence. One of these things is not like the other.

what about a hard line stance on Saudi (on Yemen) and Israel (on Palestine), China is obviously doing horrible acts but countries that US are supporting are doing equally horrible actions.

What was your requirements for the last few elections?

Shortcut link to officers of the organization: https://chinatribunal.com/who-we-are/

The China Tribunal has been initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), an international not for profit organisation, with headquarters in Australia and National Committees in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. ETAC is a coalition of lawyers, academics, ethicists, medical professionals, researchers and human rights advocates dedicated to ending forced organ harvesting (a form of organ trafficking) in China.


Susie Hughes Executive Director, Co-Founder


> While extracting the liver and kidneys from an executed victim who had been shot in the head and dumped by the side of a road, Tohti made a horrifying discovery.

> "I started cutting down the middle and then he started struggling and I knew then that he was still alive, but he was too weak to resist me, " Tohti told The Telegraph.

What the actual fuck.

Sometimes the only correct response is to cry ... but when you stop, make what you do count. You may not have the power to change the original situation but you can always make someone's day at least a little bit better.

I was on an operation table, as surgeons cut deep and worked fast, and I cannot imagine what it's like to be one one such surgeon's table when they goal isn't wellbeing. Nightmarish

Why did this article disappear so quickly from the front-page?

It got 206 points in 2 hours, which is a lot better than most front page articles...

Can't we restrict the flights to China of people that are on organ transplant waiting lists?


Then I guess there is no real way to stop people from going to China for organ transplants.

The page itself and both of the "short form"/"summary" reports downloadable are vacant claims and introduction of the organization and of Falun Gong.

After years of propaganda, I don't believe there still are so many Falun Gong followers in Mainland, let alone to have their organs harvested. Yes, most of us Chinese Mainlanders are fucking Atheists. And even if most of us more or less believe in karma and reincarnation and other forms of buddaism, Falun Gong is vastly different, especially as I know it, it's not compatible with going to buddist temples.

Basically, if your search Google for 法轮大法/Falun Dafa and 寺庙/buddist temple, you will see entries posted and reposted with title "寺庙修行半辈子,不如念念法轮大法好"[1][2]/"Reading Falun Dafa for a while is better than practicing buddism in a temple for half of your life". I don't think it's fair or honest to make such claims to convert buddists. And I think it may lead to backfire from the buddist religious circle.

[1]https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&c... [2]https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&c...

It's important to realize that this isn't what the Chinese government is capable of, it's what governments are capable of. It can't happen here overnight, but it can happen here. Just look at the otherization and dehumanization increasingly embraced by people across the political spectrum, and dial it up to eleven.

This should give people at least sympathy, if not agreement, with gun rights advocates. While private guns can't stop a powerful government from having their way with us, they can at least make it more expensive. Would China be able to do this as quietly and without civil war if the Chinese people had the same number of private guns per capita as the US?

Many of us quite reasonably believe that gun rights aren't worth the huge number of gun crimes in this country. Others of us fear state actors even more than individual criminals and feel that the high cost of gun crimes is worth the price. Even if you disagree, stories like this should give you empathy for their argument.

If you think it can't happen here, did you think that this country would move in the political direction that it has in the last few years? I didn't. Uncertainty about the social future should translate into humility about the quality of our prognostications ... and fear about how bad it could get, and how fast.

Unfortunately guns alone are not enough, china didn't get this way quietly but after a civil war where socialists won. So the future will not be decided by guns but by the portion of people who value freedom, and understand the importance of keeping the government small. Paradoxically this also requires a government providing some social services, because the people who decide that they do not have anything to lose are very dangerous for the society as a whole.

(Note this is not an argument against gun ownership, just an argument for better education and having more children.)

"I owe you my life."

Since time out of mind, the ultimate, unpayable, debt.

"I owe you my life."

Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who have received life-saving organs owe their lives, their very lives, to their donors.

"I owe you my life."

   While stopping short of concluding that the killing and 
   forced organ removal of these peoples constitutes genocide in 
   its legal definition (due to a lack of proof of actual intent 
   to commit genocide), the panel nonetheless condemned the forced 
   organ removals as a crime against humanity and an act of 
   "unmatched wickedness".
This article made me shiver.

How did China get away with this for so long?

>How did China get away with this for so long?

In short, money. Voters and corporations tend to get upset when their supply of cheap material goods (and landfills) is cut off.

> How did China get away with this for so long?

There's a busy "organ transplant tourism" going on, from Japan, Korea and Western countries to China. You can be certain that's it's not the poor, powerless from these countries that profit from the murder-for-organ-harvesting schemes the Chinese run in their prisons.

>How did China get away with this for so long?

Because no other nation(s) is willing and able to engage in military conflict with China to stop it.

Other nations could do less drastic things though. Sanctions would be an example.

But they’re not willing to give up access to cheap labor and environmental standards for their manufacturing and waste removal desires.

A strange thought: maybe the somewhat-global trend among Western powers toward political parties attempting to foment a climate of populist nationalism, is really an attempt to make people more willing to sacrifice profit margins to move manufacturing “back home”, such that China can actually be faced on level ground.

I feel like our politicians have maybe decided that voters are too smart for a sudden switch to “China bad, Chinese people bad, hate them, cut ties with them” rhetoric (as has usually historically happened in the run-up to a declaration of war), so instead they’ve just dropped the specific context of who is supposed to be bad, and are kind of vague-polemic-ing about all foreigners instead, in the hopes that that’ll stir up at least some of the same effects that historical politicians were taking advantage of.

Usually human rights is used as a tool for prevailing economic and foreign policy goals. The fact that we're now concerned with all these various human rights issues as well as spying, etc, is about the politics of our times than it is about human rights. But hey I will take it whichever way I can get it. So yeah please stop human rights abuses. Thanks.

> How did China get away with this for so long?

Skepticism and complacency.

Also, they're still getting away with it.

This was formally condemned by Congress three years ago. Falun Gong do demonstrations at the Whole Foods store down the street.

Most people aren't monsters. (I would imagine that even most of the organ recipients don't connect the dots and don't know where their new organ came from. The medical staff that know what they're doing are another story, it's dismal that so many psychotic monsters could be found or made.)

Something as horrifying as this causes cognitive dissonance and, in order to return to a lower energy state, the mind rejects it. At least until there is enough incontrovertible proof.

It also doesn't help that any sane and healthy response to this maddening, sickening, horrifying crime must be massive, total, and sustained.

Massive because the evil is massive; total because there can be no compromise with this evil; and sustained because the temptation will remain until we have solved human tissue regeneration.

If you're a US citizen and you care about this please contact your representatives and let them know.

Don't be shy about bringing this up.

> The United States House of Representatives unanimously passed an unprecedented resolution Monday [3 years ago], condemning forced organ removal from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China. House Resolution 343 (full text) was co-sponsored by 185 Democrat and Republican members. Among other actions, it demands that the Chinese government immediately end the practice of forced organ removal and stop the persecution of Falun Gong, and calls on the U.S. State Department to provide more detailed analysis of the topic in its annual human rights report.


It's going to be hellish getting them to stop formally, let alone the black market. Niven called it:

> Organlegging is the name of a fictional crime in the Known Space universe created by Larry Niven. It is the illicit trade of black market human organs for transplant. The term organlegging is a portmanteau combining the words "organ" and "bootlegging", literally the piracy[1][2] and smuggling of organs.[3]


The fig leaf that we used to justify dismantling the American economy to make short term profit and bolster China was that Communism was the problem, and making money was the pixie dust that would fix everything.

>How did China get away with this for so long?

You can't touch big countries, US, China, Russia can do whatever they want, who will dare to start something?

You can get away with shit as a small country to as long as a big country has no economic or military interest in your area, we all notice that all recent wars are fought in areas of strategic importance even if genocides happen in other areas too.

They make stuff cheaply.

This is an interesting interview with a well known CCP critic that discusses the history of this program and a bunch of other minimally discussed things.

I would encourage people to take the time to watch this.


1984 is being played out inside this country if this is true. The horror is beyond imagination since this seems state directed/aided.

My only hope is this news spreads like wildfire within its boundaries and citizens of China wake up.

And this wasn’t enough already?

Tiananmen Square protest death toll was 10,000:


>"Students linked arms but were mown down including soldiers. APCs then ran over bodies time and time again to make 'pie' and remains collected by bulldozer. Remains incinerated and then hosed down drains. "Four wounded girl students begged for their lives but were bayoneted."

What has this got to do with 1984? I don't remember anything about forced organ transplants in there.

Honestly it takes 1984 a step further. We can’t say because they are harvesting organs it doesn’t have the same themes as 1984. This is terrifying.

Has anyone here read Larry Niven's Gift From Earth?

This is literally the plot (but on another planet).

> In its "unavoidable" final conclusion, the China Tribunal found forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, primarily sourcing body parts from detained Falun Gong practitioners, and possibly also an ethnic minority called the Uyghurs (although other groups are also targeted).

Oddly enough Falun Gong enjoyed approval from the Chinese Government in the early 90s:

> According to David Ownby, Professor of History and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the Université de Montréal, Li became an "instant star of the qigong movement",[119] and Falun Gong was embraced by the government as an effective means of lowering health care costs, promoting Chinese culture, and improving public morality. In December 1992, for instance, Li and several Falun Gong students participated in the Asian Health Expo in Beijing, where he reportedly "received the most praise [of any qigong school] at the fair, and achieved very good therapeutic results", according to the fair's organizer.[15] The event helped cement Li's popularity, and journalistic reports of Falun Gong's healing powers spread.[15][20] In 1993, a publication of the Ministry of Public Security praised Li for "promoting the traditional crime-fighting virtues of the Chinese people, in safeguarding social order and security, and in promoting rectitude in society."

That changed when the organization refused to become more closely aligned with the regime:

> In 1995, Chinese authorities began looking to Falun Gong to solidify its organizational structure and ties to the party-state.[53] Li was approached by the Chinese National Sports Committee, Ministry of Public Health, and China Qigong Science Research Association (CQRS) to jointly establish a Falun Gong association. Li declined the offer. The same year, the CQRS issued a new regulation mandating that all qigong denominations establish a Communist Party branch. Li again refused.


This is a controversial subject. It is important to get information from sources that have rigorous fact-checking and a reputation to defend.

BBC is absolutely good enough. They have a legally binding corporate governance structure, a team of editors fact-checking the reporters and sources, annual audits from an external team, and a reputation for honest journalism to defend for continued readership. https://www.bbc.com/news/help-41670342

I recommend getting information from sources like the BBC over sources like the "China Tribunal".

I don't see anything about this topic at that link.

Tap the image to hear the account of a Chinese surgeon who was involved in organ harvesting.

So, lets err on the side of genocide?

Because the russian boogeyman is so last year, let's invent a new one.

You lack a basic understanding of what the term 'invent' is. There are evidential documents to support the findings.

It's simply the absence of an opt-out system that leads to either organ shortages or forced donations. An opt-out system fixes all of this immediately.

Opt-out system fixes the forced extraction of organs from dissidents and prisoners? Please, do explain how?

An opt-out system means that anyone (not limited to Falun Gong and other cults) who is already dead will potentially have their organs harvested except if they registered in a national opt-out registry while they were alive. Organs will then be in such abundance that no one will have to be killed for them as they are now. This will be at no cost to the living. It requires a cultural shift.

It's unlikely that the supply-demand ratio of organs will be balanced anytime soon, or if ever we will have greater supply than demand. An organ donation registry works only if there is governmental support for maintaining and respecting the wishes of those that sign-up in the registry, whether opting out or opting in. In China's case, the government has time and again shown disregard for the rights and wishes of dissidents and those that the party classifies as threat. And as such, there is slim hope of any respect shown towards their wishes and decisions. So, I am not really sure such a system will solve anything. At least till the time the Government stance remains as it is today.

The problems of insufficient donors and that of oppression by the government are different problems. An opt-out registry solves the problem of insufficient donors. As for the government, it will find other ways to oppress people so long as the people don't carry weapons to defend themselves.

Maybe he meant it fixes shortages and reduces waiting lists, which reduces demand for China's prisoner organs.

Many Chinese are actually against organ donation culturally, China would be one of the last places an opt out would be introduced.

And therein lies the problem. It needs cultural change, perhaps forcibly, and it really has no cost to anyone alive. At least then people won't ever be killed to extract their organs.

This is a textbook thought experiment in utilitarianism, carried to its logical conclusion. Kill one person, save eight. We might not like it, we might consider it abhorrent, it might contravene international human rights law, but we can't argue that it's senseless.

It's not really utilitarianism at all. There is nothing in utilitarianism that says round up some undesirable group and kill them so a few wealthy people might get organs so they can live. The greatest good for the greatest number of people. What is the consequence of these actions, well first murder. That leads to no happiness for the murdered, their families and loved ones. The people receiving the results of that murder, when aware that they are culpable in murder and should probably be imprisoned for it, would not be very happy with the consequences. So no this is not utilitarianism. It's completely immoral and shows the sort of moral turpitude of that situation.

But the assumption you're making is that they're being killed in order to be harvested. While this is certainly a perverse incentive that such a collection system is creating, I don't find where the article mentions that organ harvesting is the reason for their collection, but mention their execution for dissidence and ethnicity.

If those victims were to die anyway, it does become somewhat of an utilitarian problem.

And if it is, the gaming issue that would bias decisions towards executing the prisoners instead of "lighter" sentences due to the "gains", which creates a vicious feedback loop ; and the fact that overall the gains in that system are not just people surviving, but also captors getting rich ; should point clearly to the vice and undefiable corruption that make it undeniably unethical.

That and the fact that a regular human with any ounce of love or humanity in its blood should feel how wrong and disgusting this all is

Exactly. It's much easier for people to reason about utilitarian ethics when it involves ridiculously unrealistic scenarios like the trolley problem.

What you're leaving out is that the one person being killed is not picked randomly from the citizen pool, they are all persecuted minorities. So, a more accurate statement would be that China is murdering one person from a group the communist party doesn't like to save eight from the ethnic group that constitutes the overwhelming majority of the ruling class.

That is not utilitarianism, it's just tribalism and xenophobia.

Falun Gong are primarily the same ethnic group as majority: han. They are oppressed because the Communist Party cannot accept any rival ideology, even if it's a non-violent, peaceful spiritual ideology, because that might loosen their grip on the population.

I'm sure there are utilitarian communists out there who would argue that, yes, terrible, terrible, but necessary for the greater good.

Is it completely implausible to believe that people from "a group the communist party doesn't like" are simply less useful to Chinese society than a randomly selected citizen?

I'm not trying to defend China here, but it's futile to condemn an action if you have not made a good-faith effort to understand the rationale. China is a collectivist society - the rights of the individual are always secondary to the rights of the whole. We believe that people have a fundamental right to cause trouble, even if that's detrimental to social order; the Chinese Communist Party don't and a substantial proportion of their population agree wholeheartedly.

Saying "the Chinese shouldn't do this because it contravenes human rights" is like them saying "the First Amendment is terrible because it undermines social cohesion". It's an argument that seems nonsensical or in bad faith, because it's grounded in a completely alien conceptualisation of the role of the state and the rights of the individual.

If you want to make a persuasive argument, you need to address that core ideological difference. Why is your right to freedom of religion more valuable than our collective right to freedom from religious conflict? Why is your right to free speech more valuable than our collective right to social cohesion and stable governance? Why is your right to life more valuable than the right to life of the eight people who your organs could save?

Answering those questions is difficult and uncomfortable, but it's fundamentally necessary if you actually want to promote the values of liberal democracy rather than ineffectually condemning a different political culture.

> but it's futile to condemn an action if you have not made a good-faith effort to understand the rationale. China is a collectivist society - the rights of the individual are always secondary to the rights of the whole.

While your argument is presented within a logical/philosophical framework, it can only be made in a hypothesized world. The fallacy is that the "whole" is hardly ever considered. Within Communist system's, the "greater good" is sold as a cake: appealing but no substance.

I would bet that the organs are going to the top 1% of the rich, wealthy, and influential Chinese. I have no proof of this but being born in former USSR and still having connection to that part of the world, I can attest that majority almost never benefit.

> If you want to make a persuasive argument, you need to address that core ideological difference. Why is your right to freedom of religion more valuable than our collective right to freedom from religious conflict? Why is your right to free speech more valuable than our collective right to social cohesion and stable governance? Why is your right to life more valuable than the right to life of the eight people who your organs could save?

This is really tricky statement to make because on the philosophical stage, you are right. You have valid points and in theory, utilitarianism is more good than bad. However, in reality, its very difficult to discount human nature. It's simply too easy to become corrupt. In my opinion, such philosophical arguments are the road to hell, paved with good intention.

On the other hand, if we could build a perfect world, where everyone was altruistic, it would be best. Reconciling such a world with known human traits and action is a different beast all together.

Right, but is utilitarianism not senseless? Maximum happiness for majority of population is free heroin distributed and administered by state.


That's an interesting perspective, but faced with an immediate painful death I doubt science would be on your mind. Not to mention that it's not known if the research obtained is useful at all. There's already a serious crisis in Chinese science in terms of falsified results.


If it helps, I am certainly in favor of opt-out organ donation. I don't hold religious beliefs.

I think you are applying utilitarianism to a point where it is no longer useful. Sure, I guess if a dissident is executed we might as well make good use of it, right? But this misses the forest for the trees. An ethical climate like this makes for a worse society overall, since people will naturally be inclined to do worse things out of their own subjective interpretation of utilitarian value. In a place where people try to aim for abstract and idealistic moral values, you paradoxically have a situation where life gets easier as there is an additional mental block against poor incentive cycles such as arresting more dissidents and destroying more families to have more organs.

There's a reason why abstract moral frameworks like abrahamic religion have enjoyed a good evolutionary run. Ultimately calculating utility in a helpful way is an almost impossible task for a group humans with different aims. That's why the satisfaction of coming up with edgy utilitarian conclusions is in fact a red herring.

The only thing Mengele contributed to science, unintentionally, was the Nuremburg Code. A set of ethical principles for human experimentation.


Huh? Mengele was playing at sadism, nothing more. Injecting dyes into twin's eyes to see if he could create Aryan eye colour, shooting and autopsying a still warm inmate to win a bet of whose diagnosis was correct, connecting up twins to try and make them conjoined.

His medical defence was specifically denied as he did nothing to contribute to the Nazi war effort.

He did none of the valid, but unethical, Nazi research like the well known hypothermia experiments.

I have to agree, my reference to Mengele was rather metaphorical.

You should go find a Holocaust survivor and check. I'm sure many of them take comfort in the fact that destruction of their lives contributed to the progress of science.

What can a Holocaust survivor tell us about the horrors of Nazism in 2019? They were likely toddlers at the time of Holocaust.

I'm not sure what you were trying to achieve with all the gratuitous Nazi references in this thread, but please don't post like this to HN. It leads to flamewars and we don't want those here.


Yes if I were a Jew I would be very happy that I may die so the true Aryan race can be born. /s Not a very sound line of reasoning.

If you were a humanist, you wouldn't care about the distinction between Jews and Aryans in the first place ;-)


This is possibly the most psychopathic thing I've ever read. It belongs on https://www.reddit.com/r/ShitHNSays/

The article as I understood it said:

1. China executes a lot of Falun Gong and Uyghurs. We consider this genocide.

2. China takes their organs after they're dead without asking.

If you are reading me as "it's good to do (1) to get (2)", that would be very psychopathic of me. I didn't mean to say that.

What I had done while reading was entirely discard everything in the article about (1) because it was breathless and wasn't performed in order to get the organs. Then I attempted to make a comment on (2). Even (2) by itself is questionable, and I know I could be judged just for my opinion on that. But I didn't mean to get everyone riled up. Sorry.

Not that it makes a moral difference, but the victims aren't all hardened criminals. They are political dissidents, people who follow the wrong religion, and racial minorities.

Most of the greatest mass atrocities in world history have been framed as a "tradeoff". Destroying some lives to save others isn't a functioning society, it's a living nightmare.

Honestly, if we were even going to begin to entertain any notions even slightly related to this, I'd want to suggest that if we insist on having the death penalty as a punishment, then those who are put to death should, if suitable, become automatic organ donors.

Nah that's totally ridiculous. Death is as serious a punishment as possible and can never be appealed once delivered, there should never be any incentives to deliver the death sentence besides seeing that justice is done.

Let me be clear that I'm not advocating for capital punishment at all, I'm staunchly against it. But honestly, if we're going to decide that we're allowed to kill people in the name of justice, it's arguable that the deceased's bodies should be used to help save lives.

Well, lots of things are arguable to some extent, but really the idea that the state should materially benefit from murdering its own citizens is pretty difficult to defend in my opinion. The moment a judge starts to think "well, what about all the lives this prisoner's healthy organs will save?" when deciding whether or not to give a death sentence, your society is 100% fucked. If anything your hypothetical society should deliberately not take the organs of any one sentenced to death.

Absolutely not. If anything their bodies should be protected from any kind of harvesting as to not incentivize the state from handing out death penalties.

I believe the death penalty should be abolished anyway. But, disregarding the complexity of the implementation of such a policy, if the government is in the business of ending people's lives, I'd rather it be done to directly help people, instead of in a punitive fashion. If you think about it, the death penalty isn't really a punishment - some people commit heinous crimes specifically so they can be killed.

"Suicide by Justice" doesn't seem like it would be or is a popular enough form of suicide to warrant what you're suggesting. Your logic doesn't make much sense.

> it. The long waiting lists for organs in the US show that our choice is a tradeoff, not a best practice. Insofar as our system is caused by squeamishness and the desire to feel morally pure, it is harming people unnecessarily too.

Apologies if I am misunderstanding, but are you insinuating that forced harvesting of organs is “best practice”?

I didn't get that reading at all. The US medical system shows very well that we don't always have "best practice" in mind when it comes to health care.

Nope, neither is an unambiguous, strictly better practice. From the Chinese side I would be writing "The scandals where officials have given the death penalty just so they can get the organs show that our choice is a tradeoff, not a best practice. Insofar as our system gives incentives to harvest organs instead of keeping people alive, it is harming people unnecessarily too."

Or should even be considered "a practice" at all for that matter.

Not sure why this is being downvoted. It may be a macabre way of looking at it, but it is a valid viewpoint. Poster didn't specify whether they actually felt that way. I agree, in the following sense. A different way to put it - if human rights are to be violated, there better be a damn noble reason for it.

It's a point of view that makes no sense. Murdering one person to save another is not "noble". It negates the entire point of "human rights" in the first place.

You might as well suggest that people who need organs should be able to kill a random person on the street to get them.

I think the OP was merely opining that they'd rather see this, than people dying for pure profit motive. I know that, were I provided a choice between killing someone for forced organ donation that could potentially save lives, versus killing someone for greed, profit, or punishment, with no way to say "no", I'd choose the former. Making it clear, however, that I'd rather never have to make that choice in the first place.

I see where you're coming from.

I guess to me, it makes no moral difference. The means corrupt the end. The Nazis managed to get some useful science out of the Jews during the Holocaust, but it's hard to see that as a silver lining.

I think that if you're at the level of making those kinds of choices, you're already living in hell.

I'd agree there. I don't think humans are at a point (nor will they ever be at a point) where they're capable of making such decisions without corruption clouding things.

A life saved is not sufficient to counter a murder.

Some countries implement an opt-out system. If you do not want your body to be reused after you die, you have to declare it in advance.

This is hugely beneficial for patients.

Now, even this hugely emotional article does not talk about murder.

It’s one thing to harvest organs if the patient dies of accidents/natural causes, and personally I am in favour of the opt-out system.

It’s a whole other thing of killing the patient on purpose to harvest their organs.

At least several thousand people are executed in China annually. Can their bodies be used?

Wouldn’t it be worth investigating why they are executed? Given this organ trade is going on I wouldn’t be surprised if their “justice” system is being literally trigger-happy because they benefit from the resulting organs being made available.

Executed in a systen where law is not supposed to be impartial but only a tool among many to upkeep the states power. I don't think humans where worth much after death before modern organ transplantation. State arbiter gets more reasons to less leniency when there is a profit to be had from the execution.

In an already 'unfair' system adding profit motive to executions can only worsen the humanitarian result.

I agree, even if it's five lives saved per murder there's probably a better way. (Voluntary suicides come to mind.) In my view the article did not make the case that "people are being killed _for_ their organs," but "people are being killed _and_ they're taking their organs." The first policy is unambiguously bad while the second is efficient in some ways and dangerous in others.

Shamefully, my HN account was shadowbanned for posting ethical objections to chinese nationalism on the basis of these atrocities committed by the government merely several months ago.

I call this class of comment the "linkless martyr".

People make grand, self-flattering claims about why they were supposedly banned. Strangely, what they never do is supply links so readers can make up their own minds. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that we don't ban accounts for "posting ethical objections"?

That’s a rather passive aggressive way to ask for a link, isn’t it?


Oh and what do you know, now that comment appears to have been flagged, too!


That account wasn't banned. The comment was flagged by users. Your second link also was flagged by users. No moderator did anything there. Perhaps it was flagged for being an overheated, unsubstantiated (and false) claim.

Hoping for unbiased moderation here is a waste of time.

chinese doctors and scientists should be banned from international meetings until this stops.

Setting aside the persecutions, torture and possible genocide, which are undoubtedly heinous, something perplexes me:

Why do we consider it ethical for a state to execute prisoners, but consider harvesting their (now useless) organs to save more lives is ethically abhorrent?

I am much more outraged by the fact that they're killing people for political reasons, the fact that they're harvesting their organs afterwards seems comparatively tame to me.

I realize that harvesting organs from not-quite-dead prisoners, or killing prisoners just to harvest the organs is extremely unethical, but if someone was executed for a different reason, is it so bad to use their organs? They didn't consent to getting killed either, why are we drawing the line at organ harvesting?

They're holding people in camps for extended periods. It appears (at least from what I've read) that they're really only murdering them for the organs, not because they were going to kill them. Keeping people imprisoned for no-crime is wrong, but not as bad as killing them, and is fairly proportional to the length of confinement, too. Thus, it is reasonable to specifically protest the organ-harvesting.

It corrupts the “justice” system even more by giving an incentive to sentence the suspect to death as opposed to just prison time.

Of course, the death penalty itself is IMO immoral and I do not support it, but these are separate issues. The death penalty being there is one thing but at least nobody is benefiting from it being used. Harvesting organs from its victims changes that.

That's true, thanks for the counterpoint.

For a start, how about the observation that ponying up cash for an organ apparently triggers scheduling of the state murder?

"...man in need of a kidney..." "...organs are still readily available in China for transplant tourists with very short waiting times."


Matching of donor kidneys to immune system of specific recipients is critical to avoiding rejection.

Because it creates a conflict of interest in the state. Similarly we don't let the state employ prisoners in any sort of for profit endeavor.

Back in the day the British had prisoners move large rocks from one side of the prison yard to the other and then back again. That's brutish but there some logic behind it to keep the state from enjoying the activity.

> Similarly we don't let the state employ prisoners in any sort of for profit endeavor.

Doesn't the US have prisoners working for well under a dollar an hour in places?

The extremely conflicted US prison system is a great example of why you want to avoid conflicts of interest.

For example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal

> Why do we consider it ethical for a state to execute prisoners, but consider harvesting their (now useless) organs to save more lives is ethically abhorrent?

I don't know if the following moral argument would pursuade most people, but I think it does work if you accept it is ethical for the state to execute people in the first place.

It is wrong because the state now derives a material benefit from harvesting the prisoner's organs. This treats the prisoner as an means rather than an end in themselves. This is a bad thing in itself for someone who subscribes to Immanuel Kant's view of morality (or something like it). But it is, in addition, something of a hazard in providing the government with an incentive beyond justice itself to kill people.

The death penalty is still moral in this framework because it is meted out to people who have themselves murdered others, and thus decided that the law to which they hold themselves permits killing, and it is therefore appropriate for the state to treat them as reasonable beings, which means treating them according to their own moral law. (this is a terrible explanation, but I hope it is a good first step. I can try and reply more later if you ask questions.).

The death penalty is not permissible for whatever crime however, only specific ones.

Hmm, no, that is convincing. Especially since the state now has an incentive to kill someone, I guess that would open up a whole can of worms.

I don’t think the harvesting alone is the main issue. I think it’s the (perceived or real) systemic abuse, e.g. the quantity. Especially if you consider, according to the article, they also have an organ donation registry. You just can’t disconnect the two issues here, they’re inextricably linked.

It creates an incentive to hand out death sentences instead of lesser more appropriate punishments.

For starters, we don’t all consider it ethical for a state to execute prisoners.

One thing the U.S. could do would be to end capital punishment in our own country. Bluntly, it would have all the moral leadership of sanctions and none of the economic impact.

Your premise is false, we don’t consider it ethical for the state to execute prisoners.

I’m glad you’re lucky enough to be born in the right place, with the right ethnicity, family name, and religious beliefs. Imagine if you were unlucky enough to get one of those things wrong, and be born to be imprisoned, tortured, and taken apart to be sold for scraps by China.

I have read about the possibility of large-scale harvesting of organs from prisoners for a few months now. First thing to note about this particular article is that "The China Tribunal" has no formal or legal standing, it is basically a volunteer organization trying to collect evidence.

When they say "Worst Fears [...] Were Just confirmed" they are at best misleading.

There has been a notable dearth of reporting by traditional journalistic media about this topic, and so I am still somewhat skeptical. The evidence presented so far is not as conclusive as with the Uyghur suppression.

The practice described in the article would undoubtedly be a crime against Humanity, and among the biggest in history. But I can't tell right now if the process of its discovery is just slow-moving or if there is just nothing that big to discover. I'd appreciate any pointers to more information either way.

The Chinese government itself has admitted that this was done in the past but they promised to no longer allow it to happen...on multiple occasions. That China did this isn’t really in doubt, the argument is only about whether they still do it.

The central government has a hard time getting rid of this practice because they aren’t as omnipotent as they appear, there is a lot of vested interests that localities continue the practice.

Given the very low percentage of organ donors in Chinese culture, you’ll know they’ve stopped harvesting organs when their turn around time for organ transplants goes up by a lot.

They admitted to having used organs from prisoners with relatively "valid" death sentence in so far that there is any such thing as a fair trial in China.

What is alleged here is much worse: Prisoners of Conscience (and not drug traffickers or murderers) are particularly selected for their histocompatibility and executed "on demand".

Therefor I think these allegations need further proof. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and that's why I suggest a cautious approach to this story.

Doesn’t one lead to the other? I mean, that is why organ harvesting of condemned prisoners is so distasteful in the first place: it creates a huge conflict of interest in the dispensing of justice.

Not necessarily. For one thing it depends on consent. There is nothing wrong with a condemned person to consent to organ donation, if there is meaningful consent to be had.

One would think that even China has some compunctions about "creating" capital crimes in order to have enough organ donors. One of the problems with the underlying story is that the non-consenting donors must have been killed somewhat "extrajudiciarily", that is, outside of the "normal" way death sentences have been administered in China.

Therefore the allegations point to an industrial scale process of matching living prisoners to organ recipients, and lacking a judicial death sentence.

It is generally thought that an incarcerated condemned prisoner cannot consent to anything without the cloud of coercion being present.

I'd say it is possibly if there are no consequences to the decision, and the condemned prisoner has trust in that situation. It's hard to construct such a scenario.

I am completely against the death penalty, in all circumstances.

I still believe that the allegations against China made here are orders of magnitude worse than "just" harvesting organs from executed donors. That would be mainly a violation of the victims post-mortem rights or dignity.

The alleged practice involves doctors and hospitals cooperating in the preparation and execution of the death penalty. That is a fundamental violation of medical ethics. In the US, doctors are forbidden to participate in executions.

And apparently at least the timing of the executions in China, if not even the decision whether to execute a prisoner or not, seems to be affected by the demand for organs.

It's always hard to make a judgement about what wrong is worse, but I'd say here we have a clear "winner".

Also the "we can get you organs in a day, give us the specific requirements..." is a pretty serious red flag even if there's a high normal donation rate.

Yes, I would agree there. Though that might also be a sign of an opt-out donor policy.

Also, the particular crime charged here is that not only are organs harvested from prisoners / execution victims, but prisoners are specifically killed in order to harvest their organs, including a pre-execution check for histocompatibility.

There is a distinction to be made between small scale criminal behavior on the part of the hospitals and prisons, and a large-scale state-sanctioned practice of illicit organ harvesting.

What worried me is that actually someone out there believe in this shit.

We can only ask for the UN or another entity to investigate this and draw a rightful conclusion. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and not the reverse. We won't know until after an investigation occurs. This post may draw up enough of a report to request that an investigation takes place.

Provide contradicting evidence for your assertion.

I have no way of knowing if this particularly is true. I am Chinese myself and lived overseas for most of my life, a year or so ago I backpacked around Xinjiang so I can certainly attest to the police state over there.

When I returned from Xinjiang, I thought about it a lot and the only conclusion I could come to in the end is that human beings in aggregate are for the most part scum and cowards. It's conclusion that gives me no hope in the future but I cannot avoid it.

Taking into account the scale but not the novelty (genocide/ethnic cleansing as a form of statecraft, in fact I am reminded of Japanese experiments on Chinese in WW2, the irony of the oppressed eventually becoming the oppressor). I have to conclude that given the right circumstances, anyone can do just about anything. It takes constant vigilance and self-courage to be a consistently good person, most of us in the developed west have just never been put into a situation where we are compelled to do something real shitty.

> When I returned from Xinjiang, I thought about it a lot and the only conclusion I could come to in the end is that human beings in aggregate are for the most part scum and cowards. It's conclusion that gives me no hope in the future but I cannot avoid it.

I also spent time there, and I don’t think that’s a fair conclusion at all. Most people aren’t cowards and scum, most people follow and focus their energies on their survival and that of their kin. The less they have in terms of wealth the less time and head space they can devote to anything else. We’ve seen here on HN studies that show poverty changes the way you think.

Of the few that lead, there are good and there are bad. However I think the leaders and followers tend to be disjoint sets and it’s unfair to project the morality of one onto the other. It neglects the realities of human behavior. I think you’re inferring some broader mission or value statement that doesn’t exist from largely self serving small scale actions.

> I have to conclude that given the right circumstances, anyone can do just about anything. It takes constant vigilance and self-courage to be a consistently good person, most of us in the developed west have just never been put into a situation where we are compelled to do something real shitty.

I can't do anything but to strongly agree with you on this point.

A lot of discourse for which I run into trouble on HN (and in real life as well...) is me tryint to correct somebody's wrongs, just to see somebody popup with "calm down man", "do not disturb peace", "do not make it a problem", " there is nobody right or wrong"

I can say the West has this problem, and it comes from attitudes of people higher up on social ladder. This unreadiness to be forceful in confronting wrongs is: 1. totally disgusting; 2. errodes things that make society a society; 3. will eventually cost dearly to the West

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact