Tang Kwai-sze, 43, who was dying of acute liver failure, was given an early Easter miracle. A 26-year-old clerk surnamed Cheng donated part of her liver in a successful transplant operation.
Tang’s case came into the spotlight because her teenage daughter, Michelle, wasn’t able to donate part of her liver due to a law which only allows people aged 18 or over to be living donors. Michelle is three months shy of her 18th birthday.
The case resulted in Health Minister Ko Wing-man promising to look into changing the law so people under 18 can be considered as potential donors.
“Considering there is an incredibly high demand for organ transplants [in Hong Kong] and simply not enough organ donors available, I think individuals under 18 should be allowed to donate,” says Samanwita Sen, 16, from King George V School. “However, the government needs to ensure there are strict procedures to make sure donors are aware of the potential risks.”
Timothy Tang, 14, also of KGV, agrees: “There should be some requirements for living donors, and there should be a minimum age. However, it doesn’t have to be 18 as many young people may want to be donors.”
Eugenia Fong King-hin, 13, of Sacred Heart Canossian College, points out “the law can’t judge personality and logic, but law enforcers can”.
She adds: “If any of my family members were in the same situation, I would definitely fight to donate my organs to them.”