Japanese tourists may have received illegal transplants in China

While medical tourism may be a booming industry in countries like Thailand and India, China has taken a different stance on the matter. China currently is investigating if 17 Japanese tourists received kidney and liver transplants in the country according to a New York Times article published on Boston.com.

China's Ministry of Health states on its website that it "strongly opposes" organ transplant tourism, primarily because 1.5 million Chinese already are on a waiting list for transplants. A ban on transplant tourism was put into effect in May of 2007. Despite the big business that medical tourism can provide, China chooses to serve its own people first. "Priority must be given to domestic patients in urgent need of an operation," Chinese Health Ministry spokesman Mao Qunan said.

According to the Kyodo News, a Japanese newspaper, the tourists each paid around $87,000 per operation, and were told to register at the hospital under Chinese names. Most of the organs likely came from Chinese prisoners. 

To learn more:
- check out this article on Boston.com