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China expands human organ donation pilot


09:13, January 28, 2013

NANCHANG, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Two more Chinese localities are to pilot a human organ donation regulation that allows relatives of a deceased person to decide whether to donate their organs.

The Human Body Donation Regulation was enacted by local legislatures in east China's Jiangxi Province and north China's Tianjin Municipality at their annual sessions earlier this month.

"This is good news for more than 1.5 million Chinese patients waiting for organ donation and transplant to cure their diseases," said Dai Ying, secretary general of the Jiangxi Branch of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC).

Statistics from the Ministry of Health showed that only around 10,000 of the patients can have organ transplants performed annually due to a lack of donors.

While, with the new regulation going into effect on March 1, the immediate relatives of a person can make a donation decision if the deceased has not stated before death whether or not his or her body can be donated. And if a person leaves a will to donate his or her body, none of relatives has the right to alter it.

Jiangxi and Tianjin were among 10 provinces and municipalities approved by the Ministry of Health in March 2010 to pilot the regulation. Also among the pioneers were Shanghai Municipality, Shandong and Hubei provinces.

The regulation is seen as a crucial attempt to raise public awareness of the importance of organ donation and curb rampant black market dealings, which Dai said could be more lucrative than drug trafficking.

The regulation is set to smooth out the legal channel to meet the demand for the organs, said Zeng Chuanmei, deputy director general of the provincial health department.

"It also clearly puts the RCSC in charge of the human organ donation procedure," he said.

He noted that the RCSC has a network of subsidiaries in cities and counties, a fact which can make it easier for organ donors to attend consultations over the regulation and donation registration.

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