Italian Congress Shows the Double Face of Organ Transplantation

OCTOBER 3, 2014

italy_2014_09_26_francocitterio_rsz_crp_crp-676x418BY EPOCH TIMES

ROME—The congress of the Italian Society of Organ Transplantation (SITO) concluded in Siena, Italy, end September. Doctors and professional workers shared with the public the reality of a sensitive issue. From one side, Italy is one of the most advanced medical countries in the world, from another side, there is still poor information about the illegal organs’ market, which flourishes in some regions of the world.

Speakers who took turns on stage showed the same desire: give an organ to about 9,000 patients on the Italian waiting list. “We could do more,” said Professor Franco Citterio, SITO President, during an interview with Epoch Times.  “We see that when people are informed, the number of donations increases.”

Professor Citterio recalled the 20th anniversary of Nicholas Green’s death – the 7 year old American boy killed by mistake by the Mafia in southern Italy. His parents’ altruistic decision to donate his organs, saving thus seven people, was widely publicized by media.  The donation figures increased dramatically in Italy from that day, which reached 2,841 transplants in 2013.

Besides the selfless act of the Green’s family, the congress exposed a less selfless reality: organ traffic ruled by countries in which executed prisoners, and prisoners of conscience are used as a ‘bank’ for selling their organs on the local or international market.

According to SITO, there are at least 10,000 illegal transplants each year with astonishing prices: in China – where the regime controls hospitals and medical staff – a kidney can be worth 70,000 dollars. The removal of organs from death row inmates is a practice that goes against the ethical medical standards. In October 2012, the World Medical Association has expressly ruled that “In jurisdictions where the death penalty is practised, executed prisoners cannot be considered as organ and/or tissue donors.”

“The Chinese situation is known to us,”Professor Citterio said,  “[the country] has been sanctioned by the International Society of Transplantation. The Chinese government made some statements that this would never happen again. In fact, it seems that this is not the case, and that it continues to be implemented.”

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