HK should donate organs - not bodies

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 January, 2011, 12:00am

I am writing in response to the letter 'Faculty's professors are suitable donors' (SCMP, January 2, 2011).

The letter said all medical staff at government hospitals and all professors at the University of Hong Kong's Li Ka Shing faculty of medicine should donate their bodies to the faculty after they die. Their bodies would be used by medical students to practise because there is a shortage of cadavers.

This might be feasible in Western countries, but the Chinese put a lot of emphasis on integrity, especially the integrity of the body after death. They would not want to be cut open by medical students.

If all staff at public hospitals had to donate their bodies, they might be discouraged from entering the field. And we might lose some fine doctors and nurses

I am all for the idea of organ donation, but not bodies.

Lau Man-man

From the Editor

Thank you for your e-mail, Man-man. People have very different views of what happens once we die. Many Westerners believe that death is the end of everything, and so they don't mind what happens to their bodies. Others believe the body is just like an avatar and we'll get a new one. Some say that we will come back to earth and others believe we will go to heaven or hell.

It's all very well to suggest medical people leave their bodies to science, but no one should ever be forced to do something like that. It would not be possible for the government to force people to donate their bodies, so we do not have to worry about the future quality of our medical staff.

Susan, Editor