Organs could be used for life-saving surgery

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 December, 1998, 12:00am

The organs of those executed after the Big Spender appeal hearing could be used for life-saving surgery if relatives do not object.

Five condemned convicts, including Cheung Tze-keung, will be sent for execution within seven days if they lose their appeal.

If relatives do not request the bodies be kept intact for cremation, they will first be sent to Guangzhou's Nanfang Military Medical University No 1 Hospital so their organs can be used for emergency surgery.

'The organs cannot be touched without family consent. But if they do not voice objections, their organs will be used for the good of the country,' a legal expert in Guangzhou said.

'It is the last contribution a condemned convict can give,' he said. Condemned prisoners with no family were sent to the hospital automatically for their organs to be used, the lawyer said.

Of the 36 defendants, there were only two who had no family during the trial. They were represented by defence lawyers hired by the Government and were not sentenced to death.

The military hospital is famed for its advanced medical techniques. Only rich people and officials can afford to be treated there.

It is popular with kidney patients from Hong Kong as the chance of receiving a transplant is much higher than in the SAR.

A renal patient in Hong Kong said the fees for a kidney transplant and after-care treatment in the hospital were likely to be more than $200,000.