Fri, Nov 21, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Decision to donate brother’s organs saves a man’s life

GOOD DEED REWARDED:Huang Wei-cheng decided to donate all the organs of his younger brother in 2001 after a traffic accident rendered him brain dead

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Health and Welfare yesterday invited the nation’s first patient to benefit from the government’s recently revised organ donation regulations to tell his story, as part of its effort to boost the nation’s dwindling number of organ donors.

The recipient is 68-year-old Huang Wei-cheng (黃威程), who was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, and was put on the national transplant waiting list for a liver in January this year.

“I am a very optimistic person, and I believe that life and death are all predestined. I had prepared myself to ‘return to heaven’ if I did not receive a new liver,” Huang said.

There were originally more than 300 patients on the waiting list before Huang, but he was moved to the top last month after the ministry implemented a long-awaited policy that allows people to take precedence over other candidates on the waiting list if their spouse or a relative is an organ or tissue donor.

Huang decided to donate all the usable organs of his younger brother in 2001 after a car accident rendered him brain dead.

“I never thought that a selfless decision I made 13 years ago would yield such fruit today. [The new policy] offers the families of organ donors a layer of protection and I feel honored,” Huang said.

Citing a survey, Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center chairman Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) said that while 67.3 percent of respondents said they were willing to donate their organs and 81.9 percent said they intend to sign up as an organ donor, only 1 percent of the population are registered donors.

Lee said the number has shown a steady upward trend since the introduction of the policy, with about 20 new people registering each month.

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