14 April 2007
Kgosi Letlape, MD
World Medical Association
Pilaneberg, South Africa
Dear Dr. Letlape,
Re: Crimes Against Humanity in the People's Republic of China
You will recall, I am sure, the letter I sent you on 27 September 2006, in which I proposed that the World Medical Association demand that the People's Republic of China allow a WPA investigative team to look into the extremely serious allegations that physicians are involved in the killing of Falun Gong practitioners and removing various body organs for sale to desperate patients whose names are on long waiting lists for organ transplantation. I strongly recommended that the Chinese Medical Association be faced with expulsion from the World Medical Association if permission was not granted for this urgent investigation.
Reports are rampant throughout the world that the organ harvesting program in China continues without interruption, notwithstanding the denials of the Chinese government and the enactment of a law that went into effect last July to regulate organ transplants in hospitals.
It has come to my attention that Dr. Chen Zhonghua, the Deputy Committee Director of the Chinese Medical Association, Organ Transplant Division, may actually be involved in these blatantly pernicious violations of the codes of medical ethics of all the countries of the world, especially that of the World Medical Association adopted in October, 1975, and, I believe, not attenuated by any subsequent revisions: "A doctor must have complete clinical independence in deciding upon the care of a person for whom he or she is medically responsible. The doctor's fundamental role is to alleviate the distress of his or her fellow men, and no motive-whether personal, collective or political-shall prevail against this higher purpose." [Bold italics mine.] It is indicated in a website here that Dr. Chen Zhonghua is also head of the Organ Transplant Research Institute at Huazhong University of Science and Technology's Tongii Medical School. The Institute is reported to have performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants in February 2005 alone. Dr. Chen Zhonghua is said to have admitted through phone conversations that some transplant organs had come from living Falun Gong practitioners. In my opinion, the possible participation of this doctor, a senior member of the Chinese Medical Association, makes it all the more urgent that the WMA take immediate action.
Waiting until protests can be organized at the 2008 Olympics or until efforts by diplomats come to fruition will not save the lives of many innocent people during the coming months. I believe that only action by the World Medical Association can bring these crimes against humanity to an end. As I mentioned in my letter last year, the type of step recommended above is one that has proven effective in the past in the Soviet Union and even in China itself in connection with stopping the wrongful incarceration, in maximum security forensic institutions, of non-mentally-ill dissidents in the Soviet Union and Falun Gong adherents in China.
I respectfully request that you call an emergency meeting of the Council of the WPA to address this problem immediately and act to save many lives.
Abraham L. Halpern, MD, FACP
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry
New York Medical College