Many papers on organ transplants published in English-language academic journals do not meet international ethical standards because they use research involving organs that may have been harvested from executed Chinese prisoners, suggesting an Australian-led investigation.
Researchers from Macquarie University examined papers published in peer reviewed journals between 2000 and 2017 using mainland China research on Chinese organ transplants.
Human rights organizations have expressed concern about China's organ donation system, which allegedly uses organs taken from organs of executed prisoners even though it has started to switch to an opt-in harvesting scheme.
The 445 studies on more than 85,000 transplants certainly contain data related to prisoners, the paper says, "given China's recognition that executed prisoners during this period were the main body donors".
Organs, including the World Health Organization and The Transplantation Society, have condemned the use of organs transplanted from prisoners in the death row, including studies of such transplants, the newspaper said.
While 73 percent of the studies examined, the approval of a study committee, more than 92 percent failed to report whether the organs were taken from executed prisoners, and 99 percent failed to report whether donors had given their consent.
Lead researcher and professor Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University says the papers should not be sent out for review, let alone published.
"We were very shocked to find out that there were so few questions about where the bodies came from in this Chinese research," said Prof Rogers AAP.
Continued application of the research records Potential problems with complications, paper statuses.
"It is extreme for us as academics as it should be for the medical research community as a whole that there is now a great living deep of unethical research that transplant researchers in Australia and internationally may have used and benefited from," says Prof Rogers in a statement.
Currently, there are no penalties for violations, paper statuses. It requires the recall of all investigations pending a study and an international summit to develop and implement standards for organ procurement reporting.
Prof Rogers would also like to see a freezing of exhibitions such as Body Worlds Vital, which is currently at Vis in Sydney Town Hall. Concerns that the bodies shown may have belonged to people from persecuted Chinese minorities have been denied by its organizers.
Macquarie University Research was published in the BMJ Open this week.