New York, NY
August 15, 2006
National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is deeply concerned about recent
allegations regarding the procurement of organs and tissues through
coercive or exploitative practices abroad, or practices which violate
worldwide human rights standards.
The “Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun
Practitioners in China”, from Canadian human rights attorney David
Matas and former Canadian Minister of State David Kilgour, alleges that
large numbers of Falun Gong* practitioners in China are being
imprisoned and executed for the purposes of organ or tissue donation.
If these allegations prove true, they represent a systematic and
widespread violation of human rights against thousands, or potentially
tens of thousands, of innocent persons.
The National Kidney Foundation is opposed to any persecution of
individuals because of their religious or political beliefs. The NKF
also remains committed to the principles of informed consent and free
choice with regard to the decision about whether to be an organ or
In addition, any act which calls the ethical practice of donation
and transplantation into question should be condemned by the worldwide
transplantation community, which seeks to extend and improve the lives
of those waiting for a transplant through responsible and ethical
In addition to these allegations, the NKF remains concerned about
other practices which may lead to exploitation or coercion of potential
donors worldwide. Transplant candidates and professionals should be
aware that there are other risks in so-called “transplant tourism”
(traveling to any another country for the purposes of transplantation).
These risks may include the possibility of exploitation of the donors
through coercive practices including paid donation.
The NKF remains opposed to any system of reimbursement for deceased
or living donation, which may create an added financial incentive for
abuses in donation and transplantation. Other risks of “transplant
tourism” may include the possibility of disease transmission; poor
surgical practices; or poor follow up care for both donor and recipient.
* According to the report, Falun Gong is a spiritual path that
includes elements of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, teaching
meditation exercises and promoting physical and spiritual health. Its
followers seek to promote truth, tolerance and compassion.
1. Matas, David and David Kilgour. “Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China”. http://investigation.go.saveinter.net
2. China Harvesting Falun Gong Organs, Report Alleges:http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/07/06/china-falungong.html
3. Article about British Transplantation Society (BTS) statement: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4921116.stm
4. OPTN/UNOS Board Opposes “Transplant Tourism”. http://www.optn.org/news/newsDetail.asp?id=641