Manufacture, marketing and supply

Part of Medicines and Medical Devices Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:15 pm ar 8 Mehefin 2020.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

There is therefore clear evidence that China is conducting medical testing on organs forcibly harvested from Uighurs, the Falun Gong, conscientious objectors and political prisoners. Indeed, a study by medical journal The BMJ raised ethical issues about more than 400 Chinese medical studies. The harvesting of organs from those people not only is an abhorrent act in and of itself, but often involves forced brain damage and vegetation of the person involved, of course leading to their eventual death.

Those papers that I sent to all Committee members refer to a debate in the House of Lords on 2 March, which raised the issue of the tribunal on forced organ harvesting in China. On that harvesting, Lord Alton commented that the

“organised butchery of living people compares to ‘the worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century’, including the gassing of Jews by the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia”.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office informed the UK House of Lords that the World Health Organisation, which previously advised that China’s transplant system is ethical, responded:

“The evidence that it uses is based on the self-assessment made by the country that is a signatory, and in this case that is China.”

That comes from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The British Medical Association calls on the Government to reconsider their position on this issue in the light of the findings of the tribunal, and to use their influence with the international community to ensure that a full, proper investigation takes place.

We therefore need to take the necessary steps to protect the United Kingdom’s healthcare system from being morally compromised through an injection of Chinese medicines developed in a way that breaches some of the most basic human rights. This amendment does not aim to shut down trade in medicines between the United Kingdom and China. Leaps in progress made for preserving human rights should be readily shared and traded across the globe. However, these leaps in progress should not come at the expense of innocent human lives, and we must do all that we can to ensure that this practice cannot be profited from.

By passing this amendment, the Government will be empowered to make regulations ensuring that medicines supplied in the United Kingdom meet basic human rights standards with regard to how organs have been obtained in their development and manufacture. Any medicines that meet these standards and any other standards set by the Government will, of course, be welcomed into the United Kingdom.

This amendment does not force the Government to implement these regulations now; it merely empowers the Government and the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to regulate around this issue when they are prepared to do so. I can therefore see no moral or practical reason why members of the Committee would not wish to see this amendment added to this Bill, and urge the Committee to consider it.