Beijing: China today said its ban on the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners for transplant will not cause the shortage of donated ones, as "paying respect" to death-row convicts will result in more voluntary donations from citizens.
"The ban is aimed at addressing the problem of organ shortage," Huang Jiefu, head of China's human organ donation and transplant committee said today.
"The more respect we pay to death-row prisoners, the more voluntarily donated organs from citizens we will have," he said while referring to the international criticism about the use of organs of the executed prisoners.
China announced to ban the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners for transplant on January 1, asking all hospitals to stop using organs from death-row prisoners.
Ahead of the ban, China also removed a number of economic offences from the category of death sentence as part of its judicial reforms which brought down the total number of executions.
Voluntary donation from Chinese citizens has become the major source of organs for transplantation, accounting for 80 per cent of the total donated organs in 2014, Huang said.
Statistics show nearly 1,000 body parts were donated by about 380 citizens in the first two months this year, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the same period last year, he added.