A group of researchers is calling for the withdrawal of more than 400 scientific papers following a first study claiming that numerous human organs are undesirably harvested from prisoners in China.
The study, published in the journal BMJ Open and led by Australian researchers, highlights a facet of science ethics that does not receive much attention. This means that many English-language academic journals do not follow international ethical rules on donor consent to organ transplants.
"There is no real pressure from China's research leaders to be more transparent," says Wendy Rogers, a professor of clinical ethics at Macquarie University and the author. "Everyone seems to say," It's not our job. "The silence of the world on this barbaric problem must stop."
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According to the British publication, it is the first time that any study has examined the progress of the transplant community in the prevention of unethical research.
The study examined research papers released from January 2000 to April 2017. Researchers identified 445 studies involving 85,477 grafts. A staggering 92.5 percent failed to report organs were being taken from executed prisoners, while 99 percent failed to report organ organs consenting to transplant.
The Australian researchers also found that two organizations that have prevented research with the prisoners involved, the Journal of American Transplantation and the Transplantation Society, also made questionable paper publishing decisions.
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"There is now a great body of unethical research that raises problems of complication and moral risk to the extent that the transplant community uses and benefits from the results of this research," the researchers conclude in the study's conclusion. "We call for the withdrawal of this literature pending the examination of the individual papers."
Fox News came out to the Journal of American Transplantation and The Transplantation Society for comment.