Voluntary organ donation system adapted to Chinese cultural values and social reality

Liver Transpl. 2015 Apr;21(4):419-22. doi: 10.1002/lt.24069. Epub 2015 Feb 13.


Organ donation and transplant systems have unique characteristics based on the local culture and socioeconomic context. China's transplant and organ donation systems developed without regulatory oversight until 2006 when regulation and policy were developed and then implemented over the next several years. Most recently, the pilot project of establishing a voluntary citizen-based deceased donor program was established. The pilot program addressed the legal, financial, and cultural barriers to organ donation in China. The pilot program has evolved into a national program. Significantly, it established a uniquely Chinese donor classification system. The Chinese donor classification system recognizes donation after brain death (category I), donation after circulatory death (category II), and donation after brain death followed by circulatory death (category III). Through August 2014, the system has identified 2326 donors and provided 6416 organs that have been allocated though a transparent organ allocation system. The estimated number of donors in 2014 is 1147. As China's attitudes toward organ donation have matured and evolved and as China, as a nation, is taking its place on the world stage, it is recognizing that its past practice of using organs from executed prisoners is not sustainable. It is time to recognize that the efforts to regulate transplantation and provide voluntary citizen-based deceased organ donation have been successful and that China should use this system to provide organs for all transplants in every province and hospital in China. At the national organ transplant congress on October 30, 2014, the Chairman of the China's national organ donation and transplantation committee, Jeifu Huang required all hospitals to stop using organs from executed prisoners immediately and the civilian organ donation will be sole source for organ transplant in China starting January 2015.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • Asian People / psychology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Gift Giving*
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Public Opinion
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • Tissue Donors / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tissue Donors / psychology*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Volition*