Date
23 August 2017
Tang Kwai-si (left) is waiting for a liver transplant at Queen Mary Hospital. Her elder daughter (right) has yet to reach the legal age to be able to donate her liver. Photos: HKEJ
Tang Kwai-si (left) is waiting for a liver transplant at Queen Mary Hospital. Her elder daughter (right) has yet to reach the legal age to be able to donate her liver. Photos: HKEJ

Underage daughter seeks exception to donate liver to mom

Tang Kwai-si, 43, is racing against time.

She is suffering from an acute liver failure and is desperately in need of an organ transplant.

Her eldest daughter Michelle is willing to be a donor, but she is three months short of the legal age.

Michelle, who will turn 18 in July yet, is worried that her mother might not be able to make it unless a liver transplant happens soon.

She has asked the Hospital Authority (HA) to make an exception for her to be able to donate her liver to her mother, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

At the same time, she is calling on potential donors to save her mother’s life.

It was reported that the HA has discussed the issue with the Human Organ Transplant Board, a statutory body that approves applications for organ transplants.

Dr. Chau Ka-foon, former chairperson of the Hong Kong Society of Transplantation, told public broadcaster RTHK in an interview that the medical community as well as the general public have different views on the legal age for organ donations.

Chau said the biggest issue is whether minors can make sensible decisions on donating their organs, hk01.com reported.

She said it would be best to have strict professional assessments before allowing minors to make such serious decisions.

Legislator Kwok Ka-ki said organ donations by people aged between 16 and 18 are allowed in Canada with the permission of their guardian and an independent committee.

Kwok said doctors and officials involved in the case should not be part of the committee to ensure an objective assessment.

The terms should also allow the minor to reverse the decision within a certain period of time, he said.

Kwok said Hong Kong legislation pertaining to organ donations lags behind those in other countries despite medical advances in the field of organ transplants.

He said even if the legal age for organ donation does not change, the government should step up public information efforts to encourage organ donors.

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EL/FC/CG

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