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The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

ISHLT, transplant ethics and forced organ harvesting

  • Adnan Sharif
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Adnan Sharif MD, FRCP, Department of Nephrology and Transplantation, University Hospitals Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2WB, United Kingdom. Telephone: 0121 371 5861. Fax: 0121 472 4942.
    Affiliations
    Department of Nephrology and Transplantation, University Hospitals Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK

    Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

    Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, Washington DC
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  • Sheldon Stone
    Affiliations
    World Uyghur Congress, London Office, UK
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  • Susie Hughes
    Affiliations
    International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), Sydney, Australia
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Published:September 22, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2022.09.013
      In this Perspective article, we comment upon the recent statement from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) regarding transplant ethics. This statement distinguishes ISHLT from other professional transplantation societies in relation to clinical and academic interactions with fellow transplant professionals from the People's Republic of China. While international exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise has been a valued hallmark of organ donation and transplantation, collaboration with a transplant program stained with credible evidence of unethical transplant practice that amount to crimes against humanity in relation to organ donor sources. Engagement therefore poses grave risks for transplantation institutions, groups and societies of complicity in atrocity crimes and subsequent legal prosecution. While all transplantation societies agree that historically the People's Republic of China has relied on executed prisoner organs for the vast majority of their organ donor supply, how each interacts professionally with their Chinese counterpart vary. In this Perspective article, we summarize the overwhelming body of evidence to support the allegations, signpost independent investigations that have critically appraised the evidence and highlight ongoing concerns regarding regulatory and scientific veracity which have led to the statement from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. We believe this is a bold step that underlines the ethical integrity of the society and call upon other transplantation groups to follow this lead.

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