Medical Council News


Organ Harvesting in China

At the start of the year the President and members of the executive met with a representative of DAFOH – “Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting”. The representative briefed us on concerns raised in international fora about organ donation practices in China.

The purpose of the meeting was to raise concerns around organ harvesting procedures in China and to raise awareness of the international organisation of DAFOH. We at the Medical Council, however, are a statutory body established by the Medical Practitioners Acts, 1978 and 2007 with the objective to protect the interests of the general public in their interactions with those medical practitioners who are registered with us. Our remit is therefore limited to the regulation of those medical practitioners practicing in Ireland. Nonetheless, should there be any evidence of doctors registered with the Medical Council travelling to China to operate with organs harvested in an unethical manner or if such organs are being sent and used in Ireland, it would be considered as a matter of urgency. 

In more general terms, Section 7(2)(i) of the Medical Practitioners Act, 2007 requires the Council to, amongst other things, provide appropriate guidance on all matters relating to the professional conduct and ethics for registered medical practitioner.  Our ‘Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners’, 8th edition, includes our current guidance in relation to the issue of organ donation.

We at the Council draw your attention to the DAFOH website which contains additional information and asks all medical practitioners who have dealings in China to be aware of the concerns raised.