CUHK Faculty of Medicine Held its First ‘Silent Teachers’ Ash Scattering Ceremony to Pay Homage to Selfless Body Donors
With the generous support of The Board of Management of The Chinese Permanent Cemeteries (BMCPC), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) established a memorial wall dedicated to ‘Silent Teachers’ at the Garden of Remembrance in Junk Bay Chinese Permanent Cemetery in May 2013. The first ash scattering ceremony was held today (30 November) to pay homage to three selfless donors who have accomplished their missions of educating medical students. Prof. CHAN Sun-On, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK, and Ms Brenda Lo, Executive Director of BMCPC, officiated at the ceremony. The family members of the three donors were accompanied by CUHK medical students to scatter the ashes as a final farewell.
CUHK launched the ‘Silent Teachers’ body donation programme in 2011 to encourage the public to donate their remains after death for medical education and training. In addition to giving students precious medical training opportunities, the body donors also help them understand the importance of morals in medical practice. CUHK hopes to instill the concepts of ‘respect’, ‘human value’ and ‘social responsibility’ among students when they interact with patients and patients’ families. Through sharing before lesson, silent remembrance, presenting thank you cards and the like, the medical students will learn to appreciate the selflessness of the silent teachers.
The body donation program has received vigorous supports from the public since its launch. The number of bodies received increased from two to three per year to more than 50 in the first ten months of 2013; whereas the registration of body donors also grew exponentially from about ten per year to some 2,800 in the first ten months of 2013. The Faculty of Medicine of CUHK was deeply grateful to all the donors.
Ms Brenda LO said, ‘BMCPC has been actively supporting various charitable affairs, realizing the spirit of "to take from the society, and so to give back to the society". We appreciate the objectives of the "Silent Teacher" body donation programme and are glad to support them in midst of our centennial anniversary. We wish to provide the body donors with a beautiful environment to rest and to show our respect and thankfulness to them.’
Professor CHAN Sun-On expressed his sincere thanks to the generous support of BMCPC and quoted the remark of a body donor ‘You can make dozens of wrong cuts on my body, but not one on your patients’, which points out the profound contributions of body donors in medical education. He continued, ‘We are pleased to see the rising number of enrollment in the programme which reflects the increasing public acceptance of body donation. The success of this programme relies on the support from many organizations in society. We would like to take this opportunity to express our whole-hearted gratitude to them.’
In view of the enthusiastic response and the trend of increasing registrants at younger ages, the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK launched an online registration service on the Thanksgiving Day (28 November). CUHK encourages the elders to communicate with the younger generation about donating bodies. For more information about the ‘Silent Teacher’ body donation programme, please visit the website: www.sbs.cuhk.edu.hk/bd/