10 Jun 2005

Five French Polynesians get kidney transplants in China

3:12 pm on 10 June 2005

Reports from French Polynesia say five residents have been to China to get kidney transplants at a cost of between 70,000 and 90,000 US dollars.

A doctor in Papeete has alerted the territory's ethics committee to what she says is a much higher incidence of such transplants than in France.

She says the patients are reported to be given transplants within a week of arriving in China from people who are braindead.

The doctor says the patients then return to Tahiti within two weeks.

She questions whether these activities are legal as they bypass the usual medical channels.