I am a member of a mail list called Microbes and Mental Illness (MMI). Dr. Robert Bransfield and colleagues established this list after the 1999 American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, to create a forum to continue the informal discussions about the link between microbes and mental illness. Dr. Bransfield describes the relationship between microbes and mental illness in an article that may be found here: http://www.mentalhealthandillness.com/Articles/MicrobesAndMentalIllness.htm. Members of the MMI list include psychiatrists, other mental health professionals and patient advocates.
Dr. Ann Corson, a primary care physician from Pennsylvania, posted an appeal to other professionals on the MMI list, to spur action about the illegal organ harvesting that is rampant in China. Dr. Corson kindly gave me permission to re-post her message here.
This is a very important ethical issue. Dr. Corson suggests several ways of taking action.
Message from Dr. Corson:
Thank you all for the wonderful contributions to these forums over the years. I am honored to be among health care professionals that really care about the truth and have the tolerance and forbearance to compassionately care for such complicated, sick patients.
I wish to bring to your attention a matter of significant importance. Since 2008, I have been a member of Doctor Against Forced Organ Harvesting, DAFOH (www.dafoh.org). DAFOH’s mission is “to provide the medical community and society with objective findings of unethical and illegal organ harvesting. Organ harvesting, the removal of organs form a donor, without free and voluntary consent, is considered a crime against humanity, as well as a threat to the integrity of medical science in general.”
Harvesting organs from executed prisoners for transplant has been practiced in China for years. Recent revelations from a retired judge in Wuhan, China dates the practice to the 1980s: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/153667-judge-says-as-early-as-1980s-organs-were-harvested-in-china/
In 2006, allegations began to surface that China’s lucrative organ transplant industry was being supplied with the organs of Falun Gong practitioners, the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China today. Since then, much analysis and investigation, along with corroboration by witness testimony has led to the publication of two books that conclude that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs: Bloody Harvest: Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China in 2009, and State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China in 2012.
Governments around the world, including Israel, the United Kingdom, the European Parliament, Australia and Taiwan have heard testimony about this issue. Some have taken steps to prevent their citizens from going to China to obtain organs (Israel) or from having Chinese transplant surgeons trained by their universities (Australia). In the US, the Department of State Country Report on Human Rights for China in 2011 stated,
“Overseas and domestic media and advocacy groups continued to report instances of organ harvesting, particularly from Falun Gong practitioners and Uighurs.”
On Sept. 12, 2012, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing titled “Organ Harvesting of Religious and Political Dissidents by the Chinese Communist Party”. In October, 2012 a “Dear Colleague” letter from Congressmen Rob Andrews (NJ) and Chris Smith (NJ) asked their fellow House members to co-sign the letter to The State Department which stated that “serious allegations suggest unimaginable abuses have occurred” in the practice of organ transplantation in China. One hundred and six Congressmen and women from 33 states signed. Currently, Congressman Andrews (NJ) and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (NJ) have introduced Resolution 281 calling for an end to this illegal and unethical transplant practice in China. You can find full text of House Resolution 281 here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc113/hr281_ih.xml
As a physician in primary care medicine for over 30 years, it is inconceivable to me that surgeons could commit murder for profit on the operating table. I shudder in the realization that many of our own medical institutions here in the US have taught these Chinese surgeons how to perform transplant surgery. Resolution 281 will help our country’s doctors, training hospitals, universities and pharmaceutical companies make informed decisions and give them an opportunity to take a righteous stand regarding illicit organ transplantation. Only by taking an ethical stance against forced live organ harvesting can these entities avoid becoming accomplices to this most heinous crime against humanity.
Please visit: http://stoporganharvesting.org. This website contains information and evidence regarding the forced live organ harvesting performed in China’s military hospital system. Watch a short video, which interviews independent experts, physicians and politicians from around the globe. Examine the evidence for yourself. Take action yourself! Please contact your US Representative and ask him/her to co-sponsor House Resolution 281. This link will help you identify who your Representative is and contains a sample letter to submit to your Representative’s website: letter:http://www.stoporganharvesting.org/contact-your-representatives
You can also sign a petition to the UN asking for the immediate cessation of murder for profit on DAFOH’s website: http://www.dafoh.org/petition-to-the-united-nations/
Please, take a stand, position yourself on the side of what is ethical and right.
Thank you all very much,
Ann F. Corson MD