Ethan Gutmann, Adjunct Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Author of Losing the New China

In November 2008, the Weekly Standard magazine featured a cover story on organ harvesting by Gutmann, who had spent two years conducting research for a book about Falun Gong, including interviews with approximately 100 refugees. The article described systematic and suspicious medical testing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience for the purpose of extracting and selling their organs.

Qu Yangyao, an articulate Chinese professional, holds three master’s degrees. She is also the earliest refugee to describe an ‘organs only’ medical examination. Qu escaped to Sydney last year. […]. Qu’s health was fairly good, though she had lost some weight from hunger strikes. […]

Qu was 35 years old when the police escorted her and two other practitioners into a hospital. Qu distinctly remembers the drawing of a large volume of blood, then a chest X-ray, and probing. ‘I wasn’t sure what it was about. They just touch you in different places . . . abdomen, liver.’ She doesn’t remember giving a urine sample at that time, but the doctor did shine a light in her eyes, examining her corneas.

Did the doctor then ask her to trace the movement of his light with her eyes, or check her peripheral vision? No. He just checked her corneas, skipping any test involving brain function. And that was it: no hammer on the knee, no feeling for lymph nodes, no examination of ears or mouth or genitals–the doctor checked her retail organs and nothing else.

I may have felt a silent chill run up my spine at points in our interview, but Qu, like many educated subjects, seemed initially unaware of the potential implications of what she was telling me. […] In the majority of the interviews presented here, my subjects, though aware of the organ harvesting issue, had no clear idea of my line of questioning or the ‘right’ answers.

[…] In all, I interviewed 15 Falun Gong refugees from labor camps or extended detention who had experienced something inexplicable in a medical setting. [1]

In Gutmann’s Remarks on the 10-year anniversary of the Falun Gong persecution at London’s Foreign Press Association in April 2009, he presented a detailed explanation of how he reached an estimate of 13,500 to 162,000 Falun Gong practitioners killed for their organs between 2000 and 2009.[2]


[1] Ethan Gutmann, “China’s Gruesome Organ Harvest,” The Weekly Standard, November 24, 2008;

[2] Ethan Gutmann, “How Many Harvested?” Remarks on the 10-year anniversary of the Falun Gong persecution, April 2009, Foreign Press Association, London;