In late March, Ms. Man passed away at the age of 86. Her son, Mr. Duong Van Tai, realized her wish of donating her body for science purposes. Her funeral was held in her hometown, Cao Lanh town, the southern province of Dong Thap. After that, the body was given to the HCM City Medical University for research.
Earlier, Mr. Tai’s father, Duong Tu Tin, also donated his body for scientific research. “My mother’s wish originated from my father’s example,” Tai says.
He says that his family did not know when his father thought of donating his body for sciences. At the age of 80, he still read books, watched news on television and pedaled everywhere. One day, he suddenly told his family the idea of donating his body for sciences. He asked his children to fulfill necessary procedures for him.
“We thought that it was his fugitive idea because in my hometown, we had never heard of body donation. We asked him ‘Vietnamese people think that living people must have their houses and dead people must have their tombs for being worshiped by their descendants. You will not have your tomb if you donate your body. What do you think?, He answered: ‘I want to live useful when I’m alive and when I die, I can still help others, why don’t I do it?”
After his children took a body donation registration form home, the old man asked his children to fill up the form, signed and rode a bicycle to the office of the local government to get confirmation. However, local officials did not dare to sign the documents because they were so ‘odd’ to them. But finally, Mr. Tin also completed all necessary procedures.
In late December 2007, Mr. Tin died of coronary. Before his eyes closed, the man did not forget to recommend their children to inform the HCM City Medical University to take his body.
After Mr. Tin passed away, his wife, Ms. Phan Thi Man also told her children about her similar wish. Earlier, she had wanted to be buried in her home’s garden. However, her husband’s meaningful act changed her mind.
“When my mother passed away, we handed over her body to the university. We are proud of her lofty act,” Mr. Tai says.
Following the example of their parents, Tai’s family has ignored traditional thought to campaign family members to donate their bodies for science. Most of Tai’s relatives, such as his brothers and sisters, his parents-in-law, his uncles, etc. have also registered to donate their bodies for sciences.
So far, over 40 members in his families have registered for body donation