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Prisoner kidney transplant approved

A PRISONER in central China's Hubei Province has received approval from the state prison authority to go ahead with a kidney transplant to save his seriously ill brother.

The Hubei prison authority has arranged special leave for Ma Qizheng, who is serving a sentence for theft in Xiongwangtai Prison Hubei's Shayang County, Zeng Xianbing, publicity official with Hubei Prison Administrative Bureau confirmed to today's Changjiang Times.

The man, accompanied by prison officers, arrived home in north China's Henan Province yesterday evening, Ma's younger brother Ma Qichang, 32, told the Wuhan-base newspaper.

Ma Qichang said the family is still raising money for the transplant.

Ma Qichang was diagnosed with uremia, a disease causing kidney failure, in July 2007. Doctors said a kidney transplant would save his life.

A test last October confirmed Ma Qizheng was a perfect match for the transplant.

The approval came following a special appeal by Ma Zhizheng after several requests to prison officers for approval had been rejected, according to the newspaper.

Prison officers had cited existing regulations banning organ transplants by prisoners.

The donor prisoner could have to receive further medical treatment after the transplant, and it was unclear who would cover the costs, Zeng told previous media reports.

But feeling deeply sympathetic for the Mas, the provincial prison authority then helped submit his appeal to the Ministry of Justice for review.

Before the country's regulation took effect, a prisoner in north China's Hebei Province donated a kidney to his daughter who was suffering from uremia.

The Hebei Prison Administrative Bureau approved the donation by Li Fusheng, who was serving a sentence in Cangzhou City for fraud, to his 23-year-old daughter Chang Junhuan in 2006.


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