Legislation & Advocacy (4/4) The Coalition Roundtable

Legislation & Advocacy (4/4) The Coalition Roundtable

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For over a decade the Chinese Communist Party has been butchering thousands of prisoners of conscience for their organs. One of the most horrific genocides in modern history. Doctors schedule an exact day that foreign patients get an organ, whereas in the U.S. it usually takes around two years to find a match. Moving forward what can other researchers do? What we need to do is action at the legislative level such as Israel, Taiwan, Spain have done. Sweden and the United States and so on could pass laws basically barring organ tourism by their citizens to places where they can get trafficked organs. And there’s only one place in the world where you can get a trafficked organ on industrial basis and that’s China. So what is organ tourism? It’s transplantation across a border with exploitation. In China what we have is a very particular form of organ tourism which is institutionalized. In many countries it’s a black market, but in China it’s not. It’s the standard in hospitals, it’s systematic, a practice that’s universally decried within the transplant profession. Say you live in New York, you fly from New York to Shanghai, you pay a huge amount of money for the organ, they take blood tests and find out there’s a match for you and they go out to a work camp and they find a guy out in the work camp who’s been convicted of nothing at all, in all likelihood he’s probably a Falun Gong practitioner. They take his liver out and they fly it to you in Shanghai, you get a new liver, they tell you you’re getting it from a convicted capital offender. You fly home to New York with a new liver and he is dead. So it’s possible a lot of people in the West have gone to China under false pretenses? More than possible, it’s happened. And they end up with an executed Falun Gong organ? We’ve got data for two countries: Malaysia and Taiwan. There’s also the Koreans, and the Indonesians… So currently Israel, Spain and Taiwan are the only countries in the world that have banned their citizens from organ tourism? We often have a lot more leverage than we let on, over China. And in this case it’s fairly obvious to me that we do because even back then in those years when I was working there, pharmaceuticals Big Pharma was a big gleam in China’s eye. They were looking to expand this area. That was the big profit. The idea was that China would eventually have a medical establishment which could make drugs, new drugs, all kinds of drugs. Drugs that people would buy. They would buy them for a fraction of the cost and they’d get them approved in a fraction of the time, because they’d have their own FDA. Everything I’ve seen in the literature leads me to believe that it’s still a resident in China, in effect it’s maybe more resident than it ever has been. It would also not have the human experimentation problem? Exactly, you’ve got a huge captive population if you like, that you can experiment on, that’s cheap to do even if we’re not talking about something, you know, really insidious or evil. You could do clinical testing over there, as Roche discovered very quickly. Roche does clinical testing of transplant patients. And you look at those issues and you say, “Well, okay, is eight or nine billion the big money?” No. Of course that’s nothing, that’s pocket money in China. We’re talking about the real money and I am sure that the medical establishment, the Chinese medical establishment realizes this is a confidence game. If the West accepts the Chinese medical establishment as legitimate and ethical, it’s very possible for them to go ahead with their dream. If the Western medical establishment does not accept them, even in one area, but this has become a fairly important area and a fairly visible area, then it’s much harder. There’s two wings, one wing which is working on pharmaceuticals which is the big money, and there’s another wing which is working on this rather political project of wiping out Falun Gong through a massive transplant program, and that’s another wing. This wing is the easy cash, and this one is the long term and the big cash and that’s the big payout. But what I would say is, with transplant tourism it’s wrong and it’s a problem, but it’s a demand problem and what we’re dealing with, with the killing of Falun Gong for the organs is a supply problem. And you’re not going to solve the supply problem by dealing with the demand problem. You could cut off transplant tourism completely and the killing of Falun Gong for their organs would continue because the reality is, in China, just in China, there’s lots of people who need transplants. I’m not saying David, I’m not saying that we are going to cut it off and I’m not saying this will stop them from doing what they’re doing. I think they would probably complete the crime. I want to increase the pain that they feel for doing it, and this is the way. I want to cut them off. If a medical establishment does something like this, they deserve to go down in flames. That’s what I’m saying. This is not in some sort of situation where we can just say, “Well you know, we can just sit back.” No, we have to take a stand. If nothing else but to clean our hands, okay? And you’re saying the transplantation society should get out of China? Get out of China! Everybody should get out of China who is involved in medicine as far as I’m concerned, we should cut the Chinese off. They are a pariah nation! What they have done is… there’s no other way of putting it and that’s the end to it, in my opinion. You know whether it stops the organ harvesting of Falun Gong, whether it leads to more transparency, I have no idea. Even if you’re in the middle of a holocaust, you sit there and really make that calculation that the British did, that if we bomb Auschwitz we might kill some innocent people. That’s not the consideration anymore. You do what you can to stop it, you do what you can so you can say, “I have a conscience, I did something.” Absolutely. So what can be done? Not just to clean our hands as you say but to actually affect actual change in China, to perhaps stop genocide. We can certainly do what we can to avoid any complicity and that’s why I think it’s important to have ethical standards and legal standards to basically stop transplant tourism completely into China. But to actually change China, I mean we’re not going to change organ transplant in isolation from everything else because the organ transplant is affected by the overall problems of Communist Party rule, lack of court supervision, lack of independence to judiciary, lack of freedom of the press and so on. And the only way you get out of this situation is by the end of Communist Party rule in China. That’s a high bar for most people looking to engage in China. I mean I think that the argument can be made that simply raising this at the highest levels you know by the United Nations or the world Medical Association or major government, that if they raise this at the very top level of the communist party and also made it an issue publicly, an international issue about China that everyone was aware about, and that there is a deep sense of global shock and everyone will be deeply disturbed if everyone really realized that this is for real. And I think that would have a huge effect on the Chinese leadership and it might lead to stopping at other changes that went along with stopping it. The problem has been that the way that every medical establishment or authorities, global authority has handled this, is by calling for transparency from China. We need China to be more transparent about what’s going on and this plays into the Chinese’ hands because Huang Jiefu is only happy to make up some new numbers. He’ll make them up and he’ll publish them, and he calls that transparency. Well if a transparency consisted of publishing your entire list of previous transplantation such that they could be traced to the donors if that was the demand, then that could never be met and so that would be an effective way. I think that’s worth doing. I think we should try to get it done, but I’m not sure that’s a lower bar than getting rid of communist party rule. That itself is a pretty hard thing to accomplish. This is a rhetorical statement because they’re never going to do that. They couldn’t possibly do that. But if you set that as… You could at least say that’s when we’ll be satisfied, that’s never going to happen, which means we’ll never be satisfied. But that’s where I have lost confidence in Western institutions to be able to set up exactly what you described. Yeah, if you were running them Matt, no problem! Okay, set the bar high. Up till now they haven’t. The problem now is we have the transplantation society, which got into China and negotiated I think probably with the best of intentions to a great extent, found themselves very quickly, you know, just demanding transparency. What they meant by that was the Chinese could make up numbers and then please take us to a hospital which has been cleansed for our benefit and then we can look at it and pronounced you reformed. You know, this is a problem. This is a problem that we lead ourselves into a situation. People buckle in China. I don’t know what it is, but people really fall into a trap and I’ve seen it again and again. I would suggest sort of three immediate practical targets: End transplant tourism. Secondly avoid all contact with the Chinese transplant profession. And third have an independent investigation. Governmental or intergovernmental, those things could be done and will have an impact on what’s happening in the future. That is achievable too, those three things are quite achievable. Chris you ask what can other investigators do? I think there are a few unexplored avenues. No investigators so far, as far as I’m aware, have actually just gone through Chinese transplantation literature from the late 90s until now and just gone through them issue by issue and seeing what are their research and development findings, advances in transplant practice, whether they’re developing their own drugs… That stuff’s available now. It’s on databases and so that’s one thing. Another is trying to find out transplant recipient groups and seeing how widespread, you know, there must be people who have received transplants that like talking with each other and Chinese media platforms digging deep into Chinese literature and getting a hardcore sense of the industry again, and then inferring from that. I think additional research is worth doing, but what the research does is that it just replicates what we’ve already found. It just gives us additional information, but the priority has to be activism to stop the abuse. Sorry Anastasia, do you have a point to make? I support what Matt said and about the recipients there are loads of Chinese forums. Chinese people go online and talk about everything. In those forums you can get a lot more information that can point to new things. In Canada for example some people are going by car from city to city to town to village and they’re getting phenomenal coverage of item with us on the front page of the papers but they have a sign up saying stop Organ Pillaging and all of us can do our thing in our own country wherever we are locally or nationally and we can do best at. Human rights violations are attacks on humanity and the way you remedy the victimization is for Humanity to reject its own victimization. If you mobilize enough people and enough countries that get concerned then violations end. What have you found effective? From my side I would like to see more artists perhaps joining the movement. This is not about any theory, it’s not about any human rights law, it’s about real people’s lives. Once I think everybody gets that, once they really feel it, everybody will be compelled to act. Is raising awareness enough? If everybody throughout the whole world including in China was aware, yes, it would be enough. So then, this is my thought: The persecution of Falun Gong, organ harvesting, this is really just the latest in a long string of crimes against humanity the Communist Party is perpetrated. People always talk about “Can the Communist Party reform? Or, “How can we make the Communist Party reform?” Can it? Is that even a discussion worth having? Can there be a reformed Communist Party? We could talk about that probably for two hours, but the immediate goal is to stop people being killed for their organs! I absolutely agree with you, of course. But I can’t help, this is when the Jewish genes Kick in. Good genes! Good genes! Well I don’t know if they’re good or what, but I think the important thing about the Jewish experience was we worked very hard, a lot of people worked very hard, Jews and non-jews, to make sure that this was something that was really investigated and brought out to the open and everybody had to think about it everybody had to face. It did took years for that to happen, because Germany was part of NATO and we needed their help to defeat the Soviet Union. That was the concept. But eventually it did happen. There’s a long term struggle here and it has to do with just the human species, I mean not falling into these… they have to learn from every time we descend into genocide. You must learn from it. I mean the Holocaust experience has done in the context of the unconditional defeat of Nazi Germany, and what we have with Communist China is the Communist Party is still in control. Grappling with this kind of mass killing where you got the perpetrators still in power. I mean we’re trying to deal with it a bit now in Sudan, but it’s very difficult to do when the perpetrators are still in power I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, on the contrary I would say we have to try to do it. And the issue in the end is not, at least from my perspective, is it going to succeed? I don’t think we have any choice. We have to go ahead and try to do it whether it’s going to succeed or not. This is the most optimistic time in the in the organ harvest… now number one it’s taken seriously. It’s a thing, it’s not this weird sci-fi story. Kidney in the bathtub story. That itself is a big shift and then that awareness will deepen there are a lot of professionals getting involved they’re forming networks they will mobilize to activate higher-level intervention with China. It’s getting momentum and it’s going to build and build and they’ll be a big… Like what Ethan says, it is completely inevitable there’s going to be a huge global learning experience about this. Because this is such a uniquely evil thing that has taken place from so many different aspects and that will be analyzed and reflected on. Will there be trials? There must be, because these guys they’re only in their 40s and 50s. Presumably many of them will be alive when the Communist Party is ended. A database I’ve seen of transplant surgeons, puts the number at 9,000 or something. It must be a six-figure number of people, I guess maybe? At least the five figure number of people that have been directly involved in this industry. And so I mean there will be an enormous amount of debriefing, there’ll be memoirs, there’ll be archival research to do, this will be a massive field of study, because it is such a unique thing to have happened. And you Anastasia, as a Falun Gong practitioner you’ve had to face an ugly side of humanity that most people have never had to encounter. Do you feel that it’s time for a thumbs down or do you have hope? We should never lose hope on ourselves, we do have the capability to do imaginable crimes, but we also are capable of compassion and that’s yet for a lot of people to discover, but they still have it in them. What has really been inspiring to me is nothing’s ever devolved into factionalism, people have kept at it. The stubbornness, the way people have kept at it. This is the one thing I truly share with Falun Gong practitioners. That perseverance. I really really respect this and that really does give me some hope. If you’re uncertain about whether this has happened, read the research, if you’re satisfied that it has happened, do something about it. If you’re uncertain what to do, go to endorganpillaging.org and we’ve got a menu of things you could do. Pick one! Thank you for watching. If you want to do something, if you’ve been moved to do something about this go to the website endorganpillaging.org that is The International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China. They have a global advocacy network that allows people around the world to actually do something about this. It’s a list of things you can do. Simple things like sign petitions, write letters or if you have specific skills, like if you can offer legal advice, that’s an option. This is a way for everyone watching to do something to end probably one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century.

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