Oct 02, 2018 Entertainment Comments Off on Taipei mayor protests against accusations in organ transplant dispute
Taipei, Facing renewed accusations of his role in controversial organ transplants using organs harvested from dissidents in China, surgeon-turned-Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???), who is seeking re-election, lodged a strong protest through his election campaign office Tuesday.
Ko was accused by American writer and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann of lying during a press conference in Taipei that day.
Gutmann charged that Ko himself knew that "the organs are all from Falun Gong practitioners" and that he played a role in the controversial organ harvesting in China.
At the press conference, the author of the 2014 book "The Slaughter" also accused Ko, a surgeon at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) before being elected Taipei mayor in 2014, of having "indirectly" encouraged organ harvesting from Falun Gong members by promoting the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technique in China.
ECMO, also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS), is an extracorporeal technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to those whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life.
Gutmann's accusations against Ko first appeared in his book, published in August 2014 in the United States, which features mass killings, organ harvesting and China's secret solution to its dissident problem.
He wrote that Ko led patients to receive organ transplants in China and that he knew the dark origin of the organs.
Back then, Ko, who was running as an independent candidate in the Taipei mayoral election, strongly denied the accusations, and with his lawyer's assistance, eventually clarified to the public that he was not the doctor whom Gutmann accused in his book of being involved in the organ harvesting scandal.
Four years later, Gutmann brought up the accusations again in the publication of the Chinese edition of his book "The Slaughter," a move that some local media called an attempt to interfere in the year-end mayoral election in Taipei.
Ko's campaign office spokeswoman, Lin Hsiao-chi (???), demanded Tuesday that Gutmann present evidence to back his assertions.
"Those making accusations have the duty and obligation to provide evidence, otherwise the accusations are fraudulent," Lin said.
Describing Ko as a world-renowned ECMO expert, Lin said the mayor has been invited to give lectures about ECMO techniques and to deliver papers on the subject in many countries, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, the United States, Japan and China, as well as various European nations.
All Ko's work in this regard was carried out with the aim of helping patients suffering from severe diseases to acquire the best medical treatment, Lin said.
Ko's academic research and clinical experience can without doubt pass the judgment and inspection of the organ donation and transplant sector in developed countries all over the world, she added.
Lin also contended that Ko could not be the doctor mentioned in Gutmann's book because while serving at NTUH, he worked only in the intensive care department.
Ko did not serve outpatients, which she said means it would not have been possible for him to take his patients to China for organ transplants.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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