Monday, September 19, 2005

The passing of Ven. Bub-jang and donating organs and blood

There have been a few bloggers post (okay, I found only one, but I am sure there were others) on the death of the head of the Chogye Buddhist order, the Ven. Bub Jang. Although I am interested in Buddhism, read their accounts regarding the religious significance of his life and death.

It is Ven. Bub Jang's decision to donate his organs that caught my attention, particularly as described in this article. An excerpt:

Even though all of us ought to take part in the campaign, leaders in all sectors of society need to lead the van. A substantial number of them already made oaths and signed contracts to donate their organs in such campaigns sporadically launched by civic organizations. However, the general public is skeptical that their promises will be kept. Their distrust is understandable because most of them have broken their pledges, including the vow to cremate their bodies, without showing a tiny morsel of compunction. If their promises to cremate their bodies were faithfully honored by their families, our funeral system would have been already improved to the extent that the use of land for gravesides (Probably should be 'gravesites') is drastically curbed. In this vein, Ven. Bub Jang deserves unstinted respect and praise for his keeping the oath at the expense of Buddhist traditions.

Actually, it was either the confusing grammar or the presumption of dishonesty that made me want to write about it. Did the leaders of society make the promise to donate their organs, then change their minds on their deathbeds, pass on their new wishes in sceanses or did the children not follow their wishes? The "If their promises...were faithfully honored..." sentence would seem to relieve the leaders of blame. I suppose, in a 청개구리 fashion, we could respect both the leaders and their children. The leaders for making such a promise and the children for choosing to show great filial respect in a traditional burial.

Anyway, I do respect Ven. Bub Jang's decision and want to do my part. In Canada, I donated blood as often as I could. I have seen blood donation trucks in Korea but have been wary of using them. The Canadian Red Cross has had it's troubles with reusing needles and spreading diseases. So far as I know, all it's problems were solved when I started donating. Can anyone tell me about donating blood in Korea? How easy or safe is it?


tdfoss said...
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kwandongbrian said...

My first bit of blog spam was here. Sorry 'tdfoss', not interested.

kwandongbrian said...

Perhaps tis answers part of my question- beware of the incoming blood:

SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) -- Two South Korean women have been infected with the AIDS virus after receiving a transfusion of HIV-tainted blood, South Korean Red Cross confirmed Thursday.

Now, I still wonder about the safety of giving blood. Again, anyone know if the needles are disposable?