BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese court
official said here on Tuesday that China has strict restrictions on the use of
organs of executed criminals, and cases of such usage are "quite exceptional".
"Actually, the main source of organs for transplant
in China is voluntary donation by deceased citizens in accordance with their
last wills," said the official with China's Supreme People's Court in an
exclusive interview with Xinhua, who asked not to be identified.
The official said it is impossible for any health
organizations or scientific research institutions to make use of the organs of
executed criminals unless the criminals have voluntarily expressed the wish to
donate their organs and signed relevant documents before death, or their
families have given consent to such usage.
Such usage must also go through strict examination
and get approval of the judicial departments, the official added.
"There is no difference in the procedures of body or
organ donation between deceased ordinary citizens and executed criminals," said
As voluntary donations of organs by executed
criminals are not against the law but in the interest of mankind, "such wishes
(of the criminals) should be respected," said the official.
The official said Chinese courts have always and
would continue to strictly abide by the law concerning the tightly-restricted
use of organs of executed criminals, and effectively safeguard the rights and
interests of prisoners subject to death penalty.