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Illegal kidney deal leads to med staff

(Global Times)

10:23, October 14, 2011

Two doctors and a nurse from Dezhou, Shandong Province, have reportedly been arrested suspected of dealing in illegal kidney transplants. Thursday, their hospital confirmed they were not at work, but didn’t say the trio was taken away by police, or involved in any organ trading, the Shandong-based reported.

According to the report, police in Bazhou, Hebei Province, confirmed on Tuesday a total of eight people were arrested in a shabby clinic in Bazhou on September 23, where a 21-year-old man was about to have his kidney removed. A surgeon, Li Fangjun, an anesthetist, Zhang Xiaowen, and a nurse whose name isn’t known were from the Dezhou People’s Hospital.

Huang Kai, a policeman who investigated the case, said the three medical staff from Dezhou were asked to participate in the operation by an illegal organ dealer named Sun Zhigang, who is still at large.

Huang said the case involved an organized organ dealer group.

“A kidney can sell for 280,000 yuan ($43,290), but the kidney giver only receives 20,000 yuan ($3,090) for selling his or her kidney. The rest is divided among those who participate in the deal, including the organ dealer and the medical staff that helped remove the kidney,” said Huang.

The three from Dezhou had not disclosed how much money they would receive from the deal and the clinic in which the operation was about to take place was shut down on September 24, Huang added.

Yuan Li, director of the medical department in Dezhou People’s Hospital, told Thursday the hospital received a call from the surgeon and the anesthetist’s family, saying they took leave for “family emergencies.”

Yuan said the hospital had not received any official notice from the police saying the three medical staff were arrested and verified, even the rumor were true, the hospital had nothing to do with the case because it was the individual behavior of the accused.

He also said doctors were not allowed to conduct operations outside the hospital.

The three accused medical staff were all more than 50 years old, and were about to retire, according to Yuan.

China’s Criminal Law stipulates that those involved in illegal organ deals face a maximum of five years in jail.


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