The clock is ticking ...
Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong meditators are held in prison camps across China. For the past decade, they and other prisoners have been medically tested, killed, and used as a living donor bank for China's transplant industry. Amidst growing international condemnation of these horrific crimes, three American doctors have launched a petition on the White House website urging President Obama to speak out and help stop this gruesome practice.
Throughout the 1990s, the Falun Gong spiritual and meditation practice became immensely popular in China. But in 1999, the Communist Party launched a violent campaign to suppress it. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were abducted and sent to prison camps, many were tortured, some to death.
Since 2006, evidence has emerged of a more horrific crime. Unlike other countries, China has no large-scale voluntary organ donation system, so instead, military hospitals use prisoners. Experts now estimate that tens of thousands of jailed Falun Gong believers and other prisoners have been systematically examined, and then used as a living organ donor bank, killed on demand to fuel China's lucrative transplant industry.
The U.S. State Department's 2011 Human Rights Report cited allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong believers and other prisoners of conscience. In October, 106 members of Congress wrote to Secretary Clinton requesting the release of information the State Department is believed to have about the gruesome practice. Three Congressional hearings have covered the topic, while leading transplantation doctors from around the world have condemned this crime against humanity.
Now, a trio of medical doctors from New York and California have initiated a petition on the “We the People” section of the official White House website. They are directly urging President Obama to investigate and publicly condemn organ harvesting in China. Under the site's rules, if the petition garners 25,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House promises to respond.
Thanks to the support of people across America, the petition successfully reached 25,000 signatures in late December. But that's just the beginning. Past experience shows that the more signatures collected, the more serious and high-level the response. To get this urgent issue the full attention it deserves, each new signature still matters.
Every minute counts for those in China. Sign now and help save a life.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
We, the undersigned doctors, have initiated a “We the People” petition through the White House website (view petition: http://wh.gov/5Jmn). Like many other Americans and citizens around the world, we are very concerned about one of the most horrifying crimes against humanity of our time: Forced organ harvesting from living 'prisoners' in China. This barbaric practice has been taking place in China for over a decade. Killing for parts is a gross violation of medical ethics.
At a Congressional Hearing on September 12th entitled, "Organ Harvesting of Religious and Political Dissidents by the Chinese Communist Party," evidence was presented by numerous experts implicating Chinese hospitals and doctors in the practice of forced organ harvesting from prisoners, which includes harvesting organs from practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline, Uighurs, Tibetans and House Christians. These illegally detained 'prisoners' serve as a living organ donor bank. They are killed on demand to provide many of the organs that fuel China's lucrative transplant industry. Estimates indicate that tens of thousands of prisoners, with the vast majority being Falun Gong, have been killed for their organs.
American and international medical communities and governments have taken steps to address China's organ transplant abuses. The government of Israel has passed a transplant law that stopped Israeli citizens from seeking organ transplants in China. Some Australian hospitals will no longer accept applications from Chinese surgeons unless they sign a document promising never to use organs from executed prisoners. This month, in a move to prevent unknown collaboration with forced organ harvesting, the Taiwanese Yuan (Parliament) passed a resolution requiring the Taiwanese Department of Health to mandate doctors and recipients of transplants to register all information pertaining to the source of the transplant organ.
In the United States, Arthur Caplan, PhD (NYU) and Gabriel Danovitch, MD (UCLA), among others, have called upon medical journals to reject transplant related research studies from China that exploit executed prisoners. This October, 106 Congressional Representatives from 33 states co-signed a bipartisan House of Representatives' Dear Colleague Letter expressing concern about China's forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience and asking the Department of State to release all information about unethical organ harvesting in China. This fall the international NGO, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), initiated a petition calling for an end to forced organ harvesting in China and collected nearly 200,000 signatures in the United States and Europe.
Transplant abuses of this magnitude are crimes against humanity, crimes which people and governments from every country must condemn. Remaining silent in the face of such atrocities is to be complicit in these crimes. The United States as a world leader in protecting human rights has a moral obligation to speak out. In this official White House Petition we ask President Obama to investigate and publicly condemn organ harvesting from Falun Gong believers and other prisoners. Our petition seeks to meet the requirement of collecting 25,000 signatures in 30 days to then be addressed by the President of the United States. Thank you for your support in signing the petition.
Arthur Caplan, PhD Alejandro Centurion, MD Jianchao Xu, MD, PhD
“Transplant abuses of this magnitude are crimes against humanity. Remaining silent in the face of such atrocities is to be complicit in these crimes.”
— Drs. Caplan, Centurion, and Xu, petition initiators
“It's a new form of evil on this planet.”
— David Matas, Esq., renowned Canadian human rights attorney
“It's a crime against humanity.”
— Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, Prof. of Medicine, UCLA Medical School
“If you're going to go to China and you're going to get a liver transplant, during the three weeks you are there, then that means someone is going to go schedule an execution."”
— Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D, Director of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center
“A respected Taiwanese surgeon confessed to me, with no small measure of shame and embarrassment, that his patients were regular recipients of Falun Gong organs on the mainland.”
— Ethan Gutmann, freelance investigative journalist
“Overseas and domestic media and advocacy groups continued to report instances of organ harvesting, particularly from Falun Gong practitioners and Uighurs.”
— U.S. State Department 2011 Human Rights Report
“It makes you think of some grosteque restaurant where you go in and pick your lobster in a tank...but these are human beings we're talking about.”
— Hon. David Kilgour, JD, Former Canadian Secretary of State, Asia-Pacific
“The military is making money off of it. The hospitals are making money off of it. The middle men are making money off of it.”
— Dr. Damon Noto, Spokesperson for Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting
“To rip open the body of someone who is simply involved in a religious or personal or political idea that is a contrary to the wishes of the ruling elite, and not a physical threat to the regime, this is about the most monstrous crime that I can conceive of.”
— Dana Rohrbacher, U.S. Congressman (R-CA)
“People are being sent to jail, to work camps and are assaulted for their practice of Falun Gong. The Chinese Government must put a stop to this inhumane persecution.”
— Lynn Woolsey, U.S. Congresswoman (D-CA)
“This barbaric human rights abuse must be stopped.”
— Chris Smith, U.S. Congressman (R-NJ)