TAIWAN: DOCTORS TRANSPLANT ORGANS TAKEN FROM EXECUTED PRISONERS
March 5, 2011: Doctors at southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (KCGMH) conducted liver transplant surgeries after receiving the bodies of two inmates executed, local media reported.
A total of five death-row inmates were executed in Taipei, central Taichung and southern Kaohsiung respectively around 6:30 p.m. yesterday after Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu signed their execution decrees earlier in the day.
Three of those executed, Guang Chung-yen, Wang Kuo-hua and Chuang Tien-chu, signed pledges to donate their organs before their executions.
The bodies of Wang and Chuang, who were executed at the Kaohsiung Second Prison, were sent to KCGMH to have their organs removed for transplant to suitable patients, according to the Chinese-language United Evening News report.
It took less than 15 minutes for the ambulance to send the bodies of Wang and Chuang to Kaohsiung's hospital where more than 40 medical staff had been waiting to conduct emergency surgeries.
At 6:45 a.m. yesterday, the medical team led by Chen Chao-long, head of the KCGMH and a well-known expert in liver transplant, conducted the first liver surgery. Only five hours later, Chen's team conducted another successful transplant.
The team barely slept for nearly 24 hours in order to conduct the two surgeries, the report said.
Wen-chih, a staff in the hospital was quoted as saying that from the two inmates the medical team removed two hearts, two livers, two pancreases, four kidneys and four corneas, as well as numerous bones and blood vessels.Â
The hearts and livers were immediately sent to two hospitals in Taipei City via helicopters for transplant, while the bones and blood vessels were put into storage at a local organ bank, Wang said.
Meanwhile, Guang, who was put to death in Taipei, was sent to the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City for transplant surgery, where a surgical team removed his heart, kidneys, liver and pancreases at around 9:30 p.m. yesterday night.
The removed organs were expected to help at least six patients who were in desperate need, according to the hospital.
A medical chief of the hospital responsible for organ transplants, surnamed Hung, said regulations prevented them from revealing the origin of organs to patients. He also noted that there are still 7,108 patients in Taiwan suffering through the tedious and painstaking wait for an organ transplant. (Sources: China Post, 06/03/2011)