‘Absolutely Horrific’: US Doctors’ Group Comes Out Against CCP’s Forced Organ Harvesting

By Danella Pérez Schmieloz
Danella Pérez Schmieloz
Danella Pérez Schmieloz
China Reporter
and Eva Fu
Eva Fu
Eva Fu
Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. politics, U.S.-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at eva.fu@epochtimes.com
July 15, 2023Updated: July 19, 2023

A U.S. doctors’ group is taking a stance on the Chinese regime’s industrial-scale murder of prisoners of conscience for their organs, urging U.S. authorities and doctors to do what they can to stop enabling the abuse.

“Overwhelming evidence” indicates that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been incarcerating and committing forced organ harvesting on religious, ethnic, and other minorities in China, according to a statement released by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons earlier this month.

The group also called on the U.S. government and American physicians to stop training or educating medical professionals from China—or any other totalitarian regime—in skills that could be used to commit the abuse.

“We unequivocally condemn it. It’s absolutely barbaric, inhumane, unethical. There’s no way to justify this at all,” Dr. Richard Amerling, the association’s former president and current board member, told The Epoch Times. “You cannot forcibly take someone’s organs; that’s the grossest violation of bodily autonomy that could exist.

“They essentially execute a living person by removing their heart—they’re still technically alive, they’re not brain dead. It is absolutely horrific.”

In 2019, the China Tribunal, an independent expert panel, concluded that the Chinese regime has been committing forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience for years, and “on a substantial scale.”

The tribunal also concluded that imprisoned adherents of Falun Gong—a spiritual practice systematically persecuted by the regime for more than two decades—are the principal source. Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities in northwest China are also at risk, along with Tibetans and House Christians, experts have said.

Epoch Times Photo
Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about the persecution of their spiritual practice by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China, outside the U.N. building in New York, on Sept. 24, 2022. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Allegations that the communist regime was killing Falun Gong practitioners to sell their organs for transplant first emerged in 2006. Since then, numerous investigations have confirmed grisly details of this atrocity.

“It’s tough to confront this evil,” Dr. Amerling said. “I think people shy away from looking at things like this. And if you don’t look at it, and you just put it buried under the sand, pretend that it doesn’t exist, life’s easier in many ways.

“But once you recognize that this is going on, it demands a response. This is too barbaric. A civilized country cannot allow this to go on without some sort of statement.”

Dr. Amerling, a nephrologist for more than 30 years, believes that forced organ harvesting “needs to be condemned forcefully by the medical establishment in this country.”

“It’s absolutely gut-wrenching and horrifying to think this is going on, that people abuse medical knowledge to perform such evil acts,” he said.

Dr. Amerling believes that medical societies have the duty to push back against such abuses by publicizing them and by shunning Chinese personnel from U.S. medical educational circles.

“Why are we training these doctors? Why are we educating them? Why are we allowing them to participate in American medicine in any way?” he asked. “They should be blocked from any participation in the American medical system, period. They should not be trained in our hospitals. They should not be allowed to present papers at our conferences. They should not be allowed to publish articles in American journalism.”

Penalizing these doctors and barring their entry to the United States “would send a message to the government that we’re aware of what they’re up to,” according to Dr. Amerling.

One nonprofit transplantation organization is already doing that. The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the world’s largest organization dedicated to researching end-stage heart and lung disease, stated in 2022 that it’ll no longer accept research papers “involving either organs or tissue from human donors in the People’s Republic of China” because of the body of evidence of the regime’s systematic forced organ harvesting from nonconsenting donors.

Call for US Action

Organ harvesting is a lucrative business for the CCP. During a 2021 hearing before the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, Geoffrey Nice, who chaired the China Tribunal, said the Chinese regime could obtain up to $500,000 from each victim’s body.

Experts have estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 transplants take place in China every year, far exceeding the regime’s official figure of 10,000. Organs for those additional transplants are predominantly sourced from prisoners of conscience, they said.

Epoch Times Photo
Falun Gong practitioners take part in a parade in Flushing, New York, on April 18, 2021, to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the April 25 peaceful appeal of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Dr. Amerling called upon the U.S. government to harness its “commanding position” through its control of U.S. banks to help put an end to organ harvesting.

He believes that banning the U.S. training of Chinese physicians should be a national policy. But challenges remain because of the CCP’s influence over U.S. institutions through donations and grants that have effectively bought their silence, according to advocates. The Chinese regime has donated more than $3 billion to universities over the past three decades, and experts believe that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Recently, U.S. lawmakers have ramped up efforts to counter forced organ harvesting in China.

In June, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) introduced the Falun Gong Protection Act (H.R.4132). The bill aims to impose sanctions on individuals who are complicit with forced organ harvesting in China and bar them from entering the United States. It would also make it a U.S. policy to avoid cooperation with communist China in the organ transplantation field and to coordinate efforts with allies and multilateral institutions to sanction the regime.

Also in June, Texas signed into law a bipartisan bill that makes it illegal for health insurance providers to fund organ transplants that use organs originating from China or any other country that’s known to be involved in forced organ harvesting.

In March, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act to sanction anyone complicit in such practices.

Dr. Amerling welcomed these legislative responses and hoped that others will join his organization in taking a position.

“Words have an impact. We can’t let the Chinese get a pass,” he said.