TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The rate of organ donation in Taiwan is not as good as it could be due to cultural obstacles, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu said Saturday at a commemoration ceremony to honor those who had decided before they died to donate their organs.
Hu presided over the unveiling of a plaque that commemorated organ donors, while recipients presented bouquets of flowers to the families of donors, at ceremony held at China Medical University in the central city of Taichung.
Hu expressed gratitude to the families of the organ donors, and noted that there was still ample room for improvement in organ donation rates and in overcoming the psychological barriers to organ donation.
"Taiwan faces various obstacles to promoting organ donation," Hu said, citing the example of the cultural belief in keeping the body intact after death so that the deceased could enter the spirit world.
Hu said that it is also a common view that requesting organ donation immediately after the death of a potential donor deepens the surviving family's grief.
He noted, however, that some people are reluctant to have organ transplants as they fear transplant failure.
Even though it is difficult to change the public mindset against organ donation, government agencies and the private sector has a responsibility to help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation in saving lives, Hu added.
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