While reading the July 4 article “China plans reforms to organ donation rules as harvesting concerns linger,” I rethought this serious issue.

Cracking down on organ trafficking and illegal organ transplants with firm, established rules is a good idea. The idea of trafficking organs is ethically abominable, since buying organs would ultimately lead to buying lives. What’s more, illegal transplant operations conducted with proper equipment and hygiene will have a negative impact on unofficial donors and recipients alike. However, demand for donated organs is increasing, so it goes without saying that organ donation by deceased relatives is not enough. Sometimes, organs from deceased donors won’t work well, whether involving adults or minors. As a result, more patients’ lives would be claimed.

First, conventional cultural sensitivities about mutilating a body should be wiped out. Increased education helps change more people’s awareness. For example, doctors can visit schools to teach students how long candidates for an organ transplant are forced to wait. Organ transplants are an effective treatment as well as other surgeries. When children are interested in what the practitioners explain, they will talk to friends or parents. Ultimately, the listeners will also think of this issue more seriously. Thus, a grassroots relay will help change the status quo and more people would be willing to donate their organs.

Second, patients and their relatives should always remain within the law when it comes to obtaining needed organs. It is natural that some would be overly emotional in trying to live longer. Just keep a cool head for a while. Strong impulses like this tend to be exploited in the black market. To make things better, China should establish a system for an organ transplant network, following the lead of advanced countries.

Promoting organ donations for people’s welfare matters.

Mieko Okabe

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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