Signing Up Organ Donors in China Can Be an Uphill Battle

People wept as they paid their respects to deceased relatives in front of a monument bearing the names of organ donors ahead of the Qingming Festival on Monday, when Chinese honor their dead.CreditImaginechina, via Associated Press
BEIJING — When Cao Yanfang left her nursing job to become a full-time “human organ donation coordinator,” someone who asks families to donate their just-deceased relatives’ organs, she set herself the goal of persuading one in 100 families to give. That was in 2010, when China set up a nationwide voluntary donation system.

“I didn’t realize how big a challenge that figure would pose,” said Ms. Cao of the Zhejiang Province Human Organ Donation Management Center. She spoke at an event last Thursday in Beijing ahead of the Qingming festival, when Chinese remember their dead.

“Clear and Bright” is how the name of the festival that fell on Monday translates, and there was hope as well as sorrow at the event in an auditorium of Beijing Hospital. On hand were about 300 medical workers, Red Cross Society of China and government officials, donor families and organ recipients. Continue reading
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