Further information on medical letter-writing action (see ASA 38/11/91, 8 July, ASA 38/04/92, 20 March and ASA 38/05/92, 17 July): Taiwan: Executions and organ transplantation

This paper updates AI’s concerns about the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners for use in organ transplants and the possible role of members of the medical profession in procedures surrounding such executions. The most recent figures available to AI indicate that by the end of July 1991, 22 out of 51 prisoners executed had given organs. The practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners started in December 1990. Some professional bodies, concerned about the ethical issues raised by these executions, announced that they would no longer accept executed prisoners as a source of organs; however, letters received from the Department of Health and the National University Hospital indicated that the practice continues.

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