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China Crime Medicine

China Plans To Stop Harvesting Organs From Executed Prisoners 200

Posted by timothy
from the seriously-just-one-more-then-we'll-stop dept.
cold fjord writes "The People's Republic of China continues its long march toward liberalization with two steps forward (And one+ step back?). The BBC reports, 'A senior Chinese official has said the country will phase out the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners from November. Huang Jiefu said China would now rely on using organs from voluntary donors under a new national donation system. Prisoners used to account for two-thirds of transplant organs, based on previous estimates from state media. For years, China denied that it used organs from executed prisoners, but admitted it a few years ago... Human rights groups estimate that China executes thousands of prisoners a year, but correspondents say that the official figures remain a state secret.'"
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China Plans To Stop Harvesting Organs From Executed Prisoners

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  • by Immerman (2627577) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:54PM (#44621221)

    Actually "karma" means "action" or deed", and the core concept is that the entire cause-and-effect cycle is a single inherently inseparable thing, and when you "create" a cause, you are simultaneously creating all of it's effects. It's somewhat analogous to the concept "you reap what you sow". But in it's originating culture it's a concept fundamental enough to have its own dedicated word. And a nice short one at that - those tend to be culturally important.

    The whole religious "spiritual economy", "you deserve what you get and/or are paying in advance for something great" thing is a cultural thing that grew up around that. I suspect that since for many cases "what goes around comes around" is closely analogous it becomes a convenient place for corrupt priests to hang the old "pie in the sky when you die" trick.

    Your own post espouses the concept - it's not the organ harvesting itself that is the problem, in fact that part seems rather benign to me - get as much good as possible out of this evil. The problem is the the potential consequences that can grow out of it, the perverse incentives it puts in place. "Crime is dropping and we have a shortage of organs? Well let's just retroactively lower the bar a bit as to what constitutes a capital offense, problem solved." That's not necessarily how things would go down, but if you build the system and it is eventually corrupted then the horrors it perpetrates will be in part your doing. Your karma. The responsible being tries to look at least a few steps ahead and create consequences whose net balance is as desirable as possible (by their personal standards) - to create good karma.

    Anyway, as a fellow SF fan I imagine you have a taste for the long vision and thought I'd do my part to share a source of real wisdom I've encountered. Those crazy old Eastern mystics and philosophers were actually pretty on the ball: they managed to take a deeply empowering perspective on our relationship with the cosmos and refine it into a "religion" to guide and shape individuals and society in productive ways, without ever invoking any sort of Authority beyond the individual. Even their rules for Acolytes are a very practical affair: "doing these things will disrupt your training, don't ask the Master to guide you if you're unwilling to follow". Don't let the New Age folks scare you off, every movement has it's groupies. And as groupies go the New Agers tend to be among the most friendly, tolerant, and generous folks you could hope to meet, which I think speaks well of the core philosophy.

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