SECTION 1. Purpose
It is noted that there have been persistent and credible reports of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the Republic of China, particularly from Falun Gong adherents and Uighurs Muslim minority. In fact, The Congressional – Executive Commission on China, in its 2018 annual report, stated that “authorities also persisted in their crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners, subjecting them to abusive treatment, especially when in custody,” and acknowledged the concern over “reports that numerous organ transplants in China have used the organs of detained prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners”. Being cognizant of the possibility that citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may travel to China for organ transplant, this Act seeks to clarify the scope of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act as coded in Chapter 113A of the General Laws in its application to transplant tourism. The Act also seeks to enforce the highest medical ethic standards that govern future doctors and medical staffs trained by top-quality institutions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
SECTION 2. Chapter 113A of the General laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 16 the following section:-
Section 16A. (a) The following shall constitute the crime of transplant tourism:
(1) Traveling with the Intent to Engage in Transplant Tourism
A person who travels outside their country of permanent residence with the intent to engage in a transplant procedure shall be fined an amount not greater than $70,000 and imprisoned for a maximum duration of 2 years. The penalty shall include forfeiture of travel documents and any property used or intended to be used to commit or promote commission of the offense.
(2) Traveling and Engaging in Transplant Tourism
A person who travels outside their country of permanent residence and engages in an organ transplantation procedure with a foreign citizen shall be fined an amount not greater than $500,000 and imprisoned for a maximum duration of 7 years. The penalty shall include forfeiture of travel documents and any property used or intended to be used to commit or promote commission of the offense. The organ itself shall not be considered property subject to forfeiture.
(b) Liability of Corporate Persons
Any legal person directing, organizing, promoting, procuring, or facilitating the travel of a person with the knowledge that such a person will engage in transplant tourism shall be liable. Penalties include closure of business, withdrawing of licenses or authorizations, and freezing or confiscation of proceeds of the crime.
(c) Liability for Medical Professionals
Any medical establishment, attending physician, or medical practitioner who has any knowledge of or learns of facts or circumstances that give rise to a reasonable belief that a person has engaged in transplant tourism shall immediately report the same, either orally or in writing, to law enforcement. Failure to do so shall be a ground for an administrative proceeding, without prejudice to criminal liability under the Act, if evidence warrants.
SECTION 3. Section 2 of said chapter 113A, is hereby amended by inserting after the last paragraph the following paragraph:-
“Transplant tourism”. means an act of traveling outside their country of permanent residence for the purpose of undergoing an organ transplantation procedure and the organ donor is a foreign national and not genetically related to the recipient. For the purpose of this paragraph, “permanent residence” shall mean a person's true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and that person has the intention of returning to it whenever they are absent therefrom.
SECTION 4. Chapter 112 of the General laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2D the following section:-
Section 2E. Schools for training of organ transplant surgeon and medical staff assisting with organ transplant procedure
(a) Schools for training of organ transplant surgeon and assisting medical staff shall, during the course of the training, provide mandatory professional ethics coursework that covers illegality of engaging tourism transplant, and require all trainees to sign an agreement to not perform or aid prohibited organ transplant practice.
(b) A school for training of organ transplant surgeon shall mean a school maintained or classes conducted for the purpose of training two or more individuals to perform or assist in the organ transplant procedure.
SECTION 5. The provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressly provided, shall take effect upon passage.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.