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Organ donors example
作者:佚名    文章来源:EDITORIALS    点击数:296    更新时间:2010/4/2   

Life is limited, but there are different ways to have one's life extended even after death. Some do so by being remembered by others for the good deeds they have performed when they were alive. A 16-year-old boy, who is fatally ill, has chosen to do so by deciding to donate his heart, liver, corneas, kidney, skin and bones after he dies.

The boy, Feng Shihui, is suffering from the idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura that has depleted his platelet count. He signed the relevant papers with the Red Cross Society of China's Shenzhen Branch, becoming the youngest among the 6,000-plus locals to register as an organ donor in this southern Chinese city.

The boy has set an example of how we should regard life and in what way we can make our lives meaningful even after death.

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Traditionally, filial piety was considered the primary duty for Chinese people. They were taught to treasure even a single hair as it is from their parents and to keep their bodies safe from any injury, to say nothing of donating their organs to a stranger. Even those willing to donate their organs after death found their relatives, children in particular, could hardly accept the fact that their loved ones go to another world with bodies incomplete.

This partially explains why only 130 actually donated their organs after death nationwide in the last six years. This makes it impossible for the majority of those in need of organ transplants to grab the last chance of extending their lives.

This country has the largest number of organ transplant operations in the world. But a lack of donors and a national program to organize donations has long been a stumbling block in meeting the ever-increasing needs for organs. Only 10,000 out of 1.5 million patients who need organ transplants annually survive by receiving them.

The Red Cross Society of China, with help from the Ministry of Heath, launched the national organ donation program last month, which began with 10 provinces and regions on a trial basis. A document will be issued soon to regulate the specific work of designating medical institutions to receive organ donations and distribute them in a reasonable manner and to encourage more donations.

Some local Red Cross Societies, with the help of local governments, are considering incentives for organ donors and their relatives. Shandong Red Cross Society is reportedly considering building a special cemetery with stone tablets for donors, where both organ recipients and their relatives can pay respect. The contribution of organ donors should be acknowledged and recognized.

It will take time for the majority of Chinese to change their traditional ideas in the matter. Only when we are willing to help others will we be able to get help from others. We need such a virtuous cycle on organ donation. More people need to learn from the example of the 16-year-old.

(China Daily 09/23/2009 page9)

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