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November 2, 2011

Organ Transplantation and Regulation in China

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, Washington, DC (Dr Trey) (; Department of Psychiatry, New York Medical College, New York, New York (Dr Halpern); and Department of Medicine, Sydney Medical School, Sydney, Australia (Dr Singh).

JAMA. 2011;306(17):1863-1864. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1584

To the Editor: In their Commentary, Drs Shi and Chen wrote that “[t]he Chinese government has strictly followed the guiding principles of the World Health Organization for organ transplantation.”1 However, the guiding principles require that prior to organ removal, consent must be obtained.2 The preamble of the guiding principles gives further direction by stating that protection of “vulnerable persons from coercion and improper inducement to donate organs” is of particular concern.2 Yet Shi and Chen wrote that “sentenced convicts have become the main organ source for transplantation.” According to the World Medical Association, prisoners are not considered to be in a position to give consent freely.3