VOC Fellow Keynotes Major Transplantation Conference

Washington, D.C. – On April 19, VOC China Studies Research Fellow, Ethan Gutmann, presented to 3,600 heart and lung transplant surgeons at the 43rd International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Annual Meeting & Scientific Session in Denver, CO regarding forced organ harvesting and procurement in China. Galvanized by VOC’s bleeding edge research, ISHLT released a policy and ethics statement on the matter of transparent ethics and state-sponsored organ procurement in China.

During his keynote address, Gutmann, who is also the Co-Founder of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, provided evidence gathered by VOC in a 2022 report authored by VOC Fellow, Matthew Robertson, and Dr. Jacob Lavee, director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel, which conclusively demonstrated that Chinese surgeons were executing political prisoners under the scalpel for the purpose of harvesting their organs.  Their conclusion relied on over 120,000 Chinese-language medical publications which were published by the very same perpetrators of this crime. Gutmann’s field research in Central Asia indicates that detained Uyghurs are currently being exploited as an organ source for the Chinese transplant industry at an estimated minimum of 25,000 per year.

ISHLT banned Chinese transplant publication in 2022 and in 2023, the House voted 413 to 2 to pass the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act, which imposes sanctions on people involved in forced organ trafficking and authorizes the Department of State to revoke the passports of individuals convicted of certain crimes related to organ trafficking.