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Organ donation more acceptable for Chinese

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-01 17:05

NANCHANG - Xiong Junhui stood silently for a few minutes in front of the gravestone where his 12-year-old son is buried early Friday morning, tears streaming down his face the moment he touched a portrait of his son.

Xiong, 43, a laid-off worker in the city of Yingtan in East China's Jiangxi province, decided to donate his son's kidney and liver after the 12-year-old died of a spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage in December last year.

"Even though I felt heartbroken when I lost my son, I feel a little bit relieved that his life can be extended in another way," Xiong said.

However, the father didn't tell his father and parents-in-law about the situation until after little Xiong's organs had been donated. Older Chinese are generally opposed to the practice.

"They didn't talk to me for several days," Xiong said.

Xiong's decision also surprised his neighbors, as traditional Chinese customs call for people to be buried or cremated with their organs intact.

"Xiong's determination to donate his son's organs saved three lives," said Dai Ying, secretary-general of the Jiangxi branch of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC).

Xiong and many others gathered to pay tribute to the deceased in the Qingshan Cemetery in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, less than a week ahead of Tomb-Sweeping Day. The holiday, which falls on April 4 this year, calls for honoring the memory of one's deceased loved ones.

In order to raise public awareness of the importance of organ donation and discourage the black market trading of organs, the former Ministry of Health (MOH) and the RCSC jointly initiated a project to promote donations in March 2010. The project has been extended to 19 provinces and municipalities.

In Jiangxi alone, a total of 112 cornea donations have been recorded, helping more than 200 patients recover their sight, according to statistics from the Jiangxi branch of the RCSC.

Related stories:

Provincial-level organ donation enters into force

China expands human organ donation pilot

Tianjin passes regulation on organ donation

China mulls policies to spur organ donations

China to end reliance on organ donations from prisoners

Organ donations won't rely on death row

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