Dr. Goldberg discussed and answered questions on Dec. 22 on the issues of organ harvesting and transplantation in China with Dr. Dana Churchill, the Southern California spokesperson for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH). It is a non-profit founded by medical doctors to inform the medical community and the public with findings of unethical and illegal organ harvesting. The non-profit was the organizer of the discussion and press-conference.
Dr. Goldberg graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia. He practiced in Florida and was also a faculty member and associate professor. He specialized in liver and kidney transplantation for over 25 years and now directs clinical trials worldwide related to transplantation and anti-rejection drugs.
Dr. Goldberg’s employer, a large pharmaceutical company in the British Isles, was given an invitation to conduct clinical research trials in China. After considering the current state of transplantation in China, not only did he refuse the request, but he also persuaded his employer to locate another country to conduct the research. He requested the name of his employer to remain anonymous as he was speaking for himself.
Dr. Goldberg stated that he has several issues with doing research in China. “This comes from my feeling as a transplant surgeon and clinical researcher. I became aware of some questionable practices in China while at a Transplant Conference in Boston in 2006.”
Organ Transplant Discussion
Dr. Goldberg discussed clinical trials for transplant drug testing and international protocol changes associated with doing these studies abroad.
“We’re seeing a big change of where we test transplant drugs from North America to the East, including the Balkans, India, and China. Because the populations are enormous and the level of sophistication of transplant surgery has gone from the Dark Ages to a quite advanced level in the past several years, they are now on par with the West,” said Dr. Goldberg. “Also, we can test new drugs with fewer regulatory restrictions.”
He proceeded to discuss that this can be problematic, since the requirements for testing are not as rigorous and could cause the test results to leave gaps that might not fully account for possible adverse effects when drugs enter the market.
Comparing transplant waiting times in various countries, Dr. Goldberg said, “Transplant tourism is this way in the USA, if you’re on the transplant list for a liver, there is an 85 percent chance a patient on the waiting list will die [for lack of donor organs].” In China, for example, “I have every reason to believe that China is one of the very places where Americans can go for organs. Right now, someone on dialysis waiting for an organ will wait 3-5 years in the USA. If you contact China, the average waiting time is one week.”
Dr. Goldberg was asked how many bodies would be required to provide a donor bank in order to provide just one week or even a one month waiting period. “You would need thousands upon thousands of donor patients, more than 100,000 people. Liver waiting time in the U.S. is up to 7 years. In China, the waiting time is 1 month.”
“The problem in China is that the number of organ transplants coming from death row inmates accounts for a very small proportion of the total transplants. The numbers just don’t add up.” [Referring to tens of thousands of people necessary to provide such a quick match for organs.]
Transplantation is a Lucrative Business
Dr. Goldberg continued, “Look at these numbers: $62,000 for kidney transplants, $130,000 to $160,000 for liver and heart transplants, and $30,000 for cornea transplants. There are people being murdered in China. In my level of research, their [the Chinese government] major motivation is money.”
“There were changes in funding for hospitals in China about 10 years ago, which is about the time when there was a dramatic increase in organ transplants in China. Organ transplantation is lucrative.”
Falun Gong Targeted
He says that after reading all the literature written by David Matas and David Kilgour, he determined that the allegations are valid. “Why would Falun Gong be targets? According to Matas and Kilgour, they have been declared ‘enemies of the state’ and are non-citizens without rights, thus they can be used for any purpose the state deems economically appropriate. There are 70 to 100 million Falun Gong and tens of thousands are interned throughout China in labor camps and prisons. They are given no legitimate trial or legal representation. They are the only group that is given regular physical exams and are tissue typed while in custody.”
Speaking of what happens after the harvesting procedure is completed, he said, “As horrific as it sounds, the anesthesiologist stops the ventilator and the victim dies. The bodies are then taken to crematoriums, according to interviews that Kilgour and Matas have chronicled.”
Dr. Goldberg said, “The problem that I have is that if indeed this does not go on, it’s incumbent on the Chinese government to justify to the world how it comes up with all the people to provide transplants in one week or one month.”
He mentioned that a seemingly perverse convergence is taking place “between science, law, and politics in China. It’s the Wild West in China. It’s the frontier. I think going to the People’s Republic of China [for research related to organ transplants] is a bad idea right now.”
Because the scientific aspects are suspect, and the source of the organs is suspect, the company concurred with his assessment of the situation and agreed to not test in China.
Dr. Goldberg said that he tells every company he does business with that they should not do business with China, and he has been successful thus far in persuading many. He added, “Murdering people for organs is obviously on the same scale of the holocaust and many other genocides.”
- Dec 30, 2010