A Public Seminar on

Current Situation of Organ Donation and Transplantation in China ˇV

from Stigma to Stigmata

by

Professor Dr. Zhonghua Klaus CHEN

Institute of Organ Transplantation, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College

Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China

ˇ@

ˇ@

6 December 2007 (Thursday)

ˇ@

  

ˇ@

ˇ@

Abstract

Obtaining organs from executed prisoners can be traced back to the early 1970ˇ¦s when transplantation first began in China. Although other sources, e.g. brain death, had been tried, there was no success due to lack of legal formworks. It is still the dominant pool and ethically arouses international condemnations. Chinese professionals have been and are deliberately excluded from the platform of international academic exchanges. With nearly 8,000 transplantations per year, it is obviously one of the largest countries in the field and, in fact, one of the places attracting transplant tourism. For many years the details was shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, at recent international conferences, officials from the ministry of health admitted the fact. The issue is now suddenly open for public debate.

ˇ@

The first living related renal transplant was performed in China in 1972. Thereafter few cases had been reported. Global organ shortage and the sensitive issue on Chinese organ source were the major factors driving our alternative approaches to seek living and cadaver organ donation. The most difficult task, above all, is challenging the traditional death concept held by over 1.2 billion populations. A landmark brain-death case involving switched off ventilation was brought to the attention of the public in 2003. It made a big impact on medical ethics and legislation. The first successful brain-death organ donation soon followed. When two pediatric recipients appeared on the CCTV, the story moved the nation. Since then, >200 brain-death cases have been recorded with family concerns. 87 of their family members agreed to donation. 64 cases were completed. 288 organs, including liver, kidney, pancreas and cornea, were obtained for 270 recipients. In 2005, living-related kidney transplant (LRKTx) consists of 0.5% of total transplants nation wide and 14.5%, in our Center, where 103 LRKTx were performed with 100% 1 year donor and recipient/transplant survival. 4 cases of non-heart beat cadaver kidney donation have been pioneered with estimated warm ischemic time >30 minutes. The recipients eventually recovered from delayed graft function. Over 100 cornea have been donated and >100 recipients benefited.

ˇ@

Although legal frameworks on organ donation, transplantation, brain death and ethics still await official approval, clinical practice is now making energetic efforts to meet accepted international standards. Sooner or later the stigma image of using executed organs will be changed and became a part of history.

ˇ@

  

Bio-sketch

 

Professor Dr. Zhonghua Klaus CHEN received his medical training at Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, China between 1977 -1985, where he obtained his MB, MM and MD. He was appointed Consultant Surgeon at Tongji Hospital in 1986 and became Professor of Surgery in 1993. He had taught in Taiwan, and had been a research fellow in Cologne University, Germany and in Cambridge University, UK respectively. In 1997, Professor Chen received his PhD from Cambridge University (Trinity Hall) and has been a Senior Research Associate of Cambridge University since. Professor Chen was Director of the Institute of Organ Transplantation at Tongji Medical University, and is currently a Council Member of the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement, a Council Member of Asian Transplantation Society, and Vice President of the Chinese Organ Transplantation Society. He has published widely in leading international journals, and is also founder of the Chinese Organ Donation Day.