Finally, a pleasant surprise regarding human rights in China, said Sky Canaves in The Wall Street Journal. The government in Beijing has announced a pilot program for organ donations—right now 1.5 million Chinese patients need transplants each year, but only 10,000 get them. If this new effort works, it could "reduce reliance on the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, a practice that is widely criticized by human-rights groups."
Don't spin this as happy news, said Michael van der Galien in PoliGazette. The Chinese government has just admitted that it has been stripping so many kidneys, livers, and hearts from executed prisoners that their organs account for two-thirds of the transplants in the country. "Ah, the lovely nature of authoritarian regimes who have no morals whatsoever."
China knows it has a problem, said Shan Juan in China Daily. Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu acknowledged the practice of using organs from dead prisoners was "definitely not a proper source for organ transplants." Officials behind the organ donor project say the goal is to find more organs—outside of prisons—and make sure they're distributed fairly.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
Subscribe to the Week