China issues human organ transplant rules

China has published rules governing human organ transplants in its latest effort to clean up a business that has been criticized as being profit-driven, with little regard for medical ethics. The rules issued Friday by China's State Council, or Cabinet, include a ban on the sale of human organs for profit and on donations by people under 18, according to the text of the regulations published by the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily. The rules also makes it illegal to harvest human organs without permission, and standardize transplant procedures at the limited number of hospitals licensed to perform such procedures. The rules, which take effect May 1, do not apply to the transplants of human tissue such as cells, cornea and marrow, according to the paper.