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.