China's debut regulation on human organ transplants prohibits medical officials from trading in such organs.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that effective May 1, the nation's first regulation on the medical trade will punish any violations of the ban by revoking medical practitioners' licenses and significantly higher fines.
Medical clinics linked to the controversial trade could also lose their right to conduct organ transplants for up to three years.
The new regulation also says that no human organs should be taken without an individual's consent and only from people over the age of 18.
Transplants must now also be approved by a medical ethics committee and increased supervision will occur on institutions engaging in organ transplants.
Xinhua said that while the regulation does pertain to most human organ transplants, it does not legally apply to transplants of human tissue such as marrow, cornea or cells.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Explore further: Newly discovered cellular pathway may lead to cancer therapies