Chinese doctors have been convicted of illegal organ harvesting.
Local media reported that they are one of six people caged for organ harvesting from accident victims after deceiving the deceased’s families into thinking they were making official organ donations.
Between 2017 and 2018, they removed the livers and kidneys of 11 people in a hospital in Anhui province, in the east of the vast country.
China is facing a massive shortage of organs and struggles to meet demand through public donations.
According to local reports, the trafficking involved four high-ranking doctors, some of whom were employed in the purchase of organs in hospitals.
They reportedly targeted car accident victims or patients suffering from a brain haemorrhage at Huaiyuan County People’s Hospital in Anhui.
The head of the site’s intensive care unit, Yang Suxun, would approach a patient’s family members and ask if they would agree to donate their loved one’s organs.
Family members would then sign what would later turn out to be forged consent forms.
The victims would be driven out of the hospital in the middle of the night and put in a van that looks like an ambulance.
Doctors removed the organs that would then be sold to individuals or other hospitals secretly contacted by the human trafficking.
They were eventually discovered when the son of one of the victims became suspicious.
Shi Xianglin discovered several discrepancies in the documents signed after his mother’s death in 2018. He then discovered that there was no records of the donation with the provincial authorities or the China Organ Donation Administration Center in Beijing.
When Shi confronted those involved, he was offered a lot of money to keep quiet.
He said, “Then I was sure there was something very strange going on.”
The six men in the ring were convicted of the crime of “deliberately destroying corpses, with prison terms ranging from 10 to 28 months.
For years, China has harvested the organs of executed prisoners to meet demand, something that has been widely criticized worldwide.
It was officially discontinued in 2015, but authorities said at the time it would be difficult to ensure compliance.
The country now depends on public donations to its national organ bank. The number of donors in China has increased in recent years, but is still much lower than in other parts of the world.