The Standing Committee of the People’s Congress in Shanghai discussed recently the Regulations on the Contribution of Remains (Draft Version), the first of its kind worked out by China.
The regulations stipulate that the remains to be contributed will comply with one’s own wishes, and the remains of contributors will be used in medical science. As to those who did not leave any wills in their lifetime, their remains will be handled in line with the wishes of their directly related members.
The contribution of remains doesn’t work favorably in China. A very important reason is that some blood relatives are reluctant to act as the executors for the contribution of the remains. Therefore, the regulations provide if the dead have expressed their wishes to give way their remains before death, no individual, or organization shall hinder or obstruct the wills of the contributors, or they will be subject to penalties from the public security departments.
Committee members have affirmed the significance of the regulations. The remains contribution tells the civilized level of a city. Since the contribution of remains has things to do with one’s dignity, the committee members demand that the city should intensify management so as to gain trust from the people. Only by doing so, can this volunteer work be carried on for a long time to come.
According to Liu Jun, minister of Shanghai Public Health Bureau, the remains is a very important source for medical research and teaching. Every year the city needs more than 700 corpses to be used in medical study and teaching, but there are only 200 available at the most, which fall far short of the needs for China’s medical development. By the end of 1999, 8973 citizens have signed the procedures for remains contribution but only 1792 people have been carried out.