Czech Republic plans to reduce transplant travel

Czech politicians and experts are supporting a draft amendment to the Czech Republic transplant law that would prohibit citizens from visiting China for organ transplants. The concern is the use of unethical practices in the industry, particularly the involuntary organ harvesting of Chinese prisoners of conscience.

Czech politicians claim that since 2006 there has been a sharp increase in transplants and trafficking in organs from the prison system in China.

Various religious and ethnic groups are persecuted and imprisoned in China. It is believed that their vital organs are harvested in modern transplant centres, and that the Chinese government not only allows this but also controls it. Chinese authorities refuse to deny or accept this.

The European Parliament resolution of 2013 and the laws adopted in several countries around the world on transplant tourism could encourage the Czech Republic to adopt such a law.

The Senate has commissioned an analysis of legislative treatment in other countries with the Parliament Institute.

Getting China to stop unethical practices in China’s territory is not something that Western countries can do, so their efforts are focused on minimising the participation in organ transplantation of their own citizens.

Italian law for example puts high financial penalties on medical staff for mediating such transplantation, while punishing doctors, nurses or staff with a life ban.

The European Parliament’s resolution of No. 2013/2981 on involuntary organ harvesting in China, draws attention to the issue of involuntary organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China and abusive practices related to organ transplants in China.