The Chinese government may have been systematically falsifying its organ donation numbers, raising renewed concerns over the use of executed prisoners and other forced donors for transplants, a new academic paper says.
In 2015, China publicly promised it would no longer source organs from executed prisoners, previously almost its sole source. But a study led by Australian National University PhD student Matthew Robertson, published in the BMC Medical Ethics journal on Friday, says Chinese-government supplied datasets on organ donations show “highly compelling evidence they are being falsified”.
Forensics - Datasets - Researchers - Numbers - Organs
Using statistical forensics on the datasets, researchers found the numbers of organs reportedly transplanted almost perfectly matched a mathematical formula – a quadratic function.
“When you take a close look at the numbers of organs apparently collected they almost match this artificial equation point for point, year in, year out. They’re too neat to be true,” Robertson said.
Figures - Data - Donations - Numbers - Equation
“These figures don’t appear to be real data from real donations. They’re numbers generated using an equation. It is difficult to imagine how this model could have been arrived at by mere chance, raising the distinct possibility that it was intended to deceive.”
The BMC Medical Ethics paper argued China’s organ transplant industry was opaque and the sources of organs difficult to trace. It found that while China had reformed its organ transplantation system to an extent, this was used to mask the continued use of non-voluntary donors or donors who are coerced into giving organs.
Organ - System - Years - System - Officials
“Rather than the solely prisoner-based organ transplant system of years past, or the untarnished voluntary system promised by officials, the available evidence indicates in our view that China has a complex hybrid transplant program: voluntary donations, incentivised by large cash payments, are apparently used alongside nonvoluntary donors who are marked down as citizen donors.”
The study examined voluntary hospital-based donated organs between 2010 and 2018 using...
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