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Recognition of brain death will aid organ transplants

BEIJING -- The question of what constitutes death is at the center of a medico-legal debate in China with important implications for organ transplants, a senior health official said on Saturday.

In April, China issued its first regulation on human organ transplants, aimed at banning organ trade in any form and regulating the country's huge organ transplant market. It will go into effect on May 1.

The new organ transplant regulations are a milestone in China's health sector, but the legal framework remains incomplete, vice minister of health Huang Jiefu told a press briefing, pointing out that new legislation on "brain death" is needed.

He said the development of human organ transplants requires a wider medical definition of death besides the traditional notion of cessation of heartbeat.

"Fifteen minutes at most after the cessation of heartbeat and br

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