China opens online organ donation registry

The volunteer site is aimed at raising awareness and facilitating transplants to address the significant shortage of donors.

The country's first registry is aimed at raising awareness and convenience.

China's first online volunteer organ donor registry will be launched this month in a bid to ease the shortage of organs for transplant.

Liu Weixin, deputy director of the Red Cross Society's National Organ Donation Management Center, said one can become a donor by filling out forms on the Web site set to open in late June, China Daily reported on Thursday. Liu was speaking at an event at Jilin University in Changchun, Jilin province.

Gao Xinpu, a division director of the center, also added people can update personal information after registering, and if they choose, revoke previous consent. Volunteers also cannot donate if their family reject the option, he said.

The registry will play an important role in spreading the message that organ donations save lives, Gao said, adding that being reigstered as a volunteer is not a guarantee that you can be a donor.

According to China's National health and Family Planning Commission, the country has 300,000 patients in need of life-saving organ transplants but only 10,000 can get one. This is far behind the one to four ratio in the United States.

Organ malpractice is also common in China. In April last year, five people were charged over an incident which took place in 2011, where a seventeen year old teenager sold his kidney to buy a new iPhone and iPad 2. In response, China set up a national organ database in October last year , to improve distribution efficiency, facilitate the authorities' supervision of the donation and transplant processes.