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An Asian Perspective on Organ Transplantation

Michael Cheng-Tek Tai

College of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

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Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Shintoism have largely shaped the ways of Asian living. Since these cultural and religious schools were established long ago before the dawn of modern medical technology, and all of them stress the importance of abiding in the natural order of Tao/Dharma, how would they view organ transplantation? This article discusses the teachings of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism with regard to organ donations from both traditional understanding and modern interpretation. We find that the literal interpretations seem to adhere to the value of integrity that what is given must be reverently safeguarded while the modern view emphasizes the value of compassion.


Buddhism; Confucianism; Filial Piety; Naturalness; Taoism


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