A new law, the Health and Care Bill, came into effect in the U.K. at the end of April 2022. The law prohibits British citizens and nationals from engaging in organ tourism that “involves either forced organ harvesting or black market organ trafficking.”
The new legislation is an amendment of the existing health care law. It made specific provisions to prohibit its citizens from traveling outside of the U.K. to receive organs with no clear legal sources.
According to a report by Metro, the U.K.’s most-read newspaper, entitled “UK companies ‘risk legal action’ if they are linked to forced organ trade in China,” under the new law, companies in U.K. would face legal actions if they are found to be engaged in organ trafficking, live organ harvesting and murder.
The report said the new amendment came as a result of the hard work by many parliamentarians who are concerned about the forced organ harvesting in China.
Lord Philip Hunt of Kings Heath played a leading role in this effort. He also received bi-partisan support, including those from Lord Alton of Liverpool, Lord Ribeiro, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Baroness Northover, MP Marie Rimmer and MP Alex Norris, who is also the Shadow Health Minister.
The newspaper interviewed the top barrister Wayne Jordash QC, who warned the U.K. medical institutions, including NHS (United Kingdom National Health Service), that they would face the risk of legal lawsuits if involved in organ harvesting.
He added that organizations such as medical journals, universities, hospitals and companies that sell medical products need to examine more closely their supply chains, who they work with and where the other side stands on the issue. Doctors who visit Chinese hospitals or host Chinese doctors, for example, may later find themselves sharing skills that were used in forced organ harvesting.
The report also cites the final judgment issued by The China Tribunal, led by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, that Chinese prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners, and, more recently, Uyghurs in Xinjiang, have been the primary target for the organs.
Although not legally binding, the results of the tribunal were presented to the United Nations and the world was urged to take actions against the brutal killing.
Hamid Sabi, a spokesman for the China Tribunal, said to the UN that “Victim for victim and death for death, blameless, harmless; cutting out the hearts and other organs from living, peaceable people constitutes one of the worst mass atrocities of this century.”
Barrister Jordash also told Metro: “Logic and common sense dictate that forced organ harvesting continues today.”
He added that China is a “major player” in the global transplant industry, and many institutions have ties to China as part of their supply chain or training. “Some of human rights violations within the transplant industry involve some of the most serious crimes that we know of – crimes against humanity, possibly even genocide,” he said.
Pediatric surgeon Dr. Martin Elliot, who has led transplant teams and is a contributor to the China Tribunal, said “international cooperation” is needed to stop the trade in live organ harvesting.
Lastly, the British Medical Association called for an independent international investigation into organ trafficking in China and its organ transplant system.
In addition to the report by the Metro, The Sunday Express also covered the new amendment, with the headline “Organ trafficking: Britons no longer able to purchase an organ outside UK.”
The report said that the China Tribunal heard evidence from medical experts, human rights investigators and victims over a period of six months and it found that Falun Gong practitioners were “certainly” to have been used as a source of live organ harvesting in recent decades and the Uyghur Muslims are facing similar risk.
It said that the victims were still alive when their bodies were cut open. Many had their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea, and skin removed for sale.
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