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Concern group urge change in fetus law to allow burial of stillborns

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Structure: 10 Content: 9 It is a pleasure to read this story. Well-written. It would be good to give a couple lines to introduce Dicky, after all he is a public figure and is now the public face to promote this cause. Father Chan's proper title is the Vicar General of the Diocese.

Reported by Wong Yan Ting, published on 12, March 2019

Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong urged the government to abandon the current practice of sending miscarried fetuses under 24 weeks to landfills as medical waste.

“Under existing laws, a fetus in this situation cannot be properly buried or cremated as it is not categorized as a stillbirth but instead as ‘medical waste’,” said Dominic Chan Chi Ming, the Father of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong.

He said Hong Kong government should lower the lifeline of fetuses are seen as unborn babies from 24-week-olds to 20-week-olds using the reference from the standard of other European countries.

In Hong Kong, only a fetus miscarried after 24th week is recognized by the Hospital Authority as a stillbirth, and only a certified stillbirth can be cremated and buried in public facilities.

At present, Angel Garden is Hong Kong’s only burial site specially for fetuses under 24 weeks.

Angel Garden was found by Chan. “Every life is sacred,” Chan said at an assembly at Shue Yan University.

“All babies are not a piece of waste,” Chan added.

“I hope the government can understand that it would give parents great comfort,” Chan said. “They only need a medium to let their miscarried babies rest in peace.”

To Dicky Cheung Wai Kin, who lost his baby, said that a burial site has provided greater relief to his wife and him because they could still mourn the loss of their child.

“My baby could have a home,” Cheung said.

Cheung is a public figure who helps promote the Angel Garden.

“Is there any harm do to the society or parents when we plan some land-use for more facilities for miscarried babies?” Cheung said.

“Hong Kong is a civilized society so we need these facilities,” Cheung said.

Some countries have changed the boundary of stillborns from 24 weeks to 21 weeks, Chan hoped the Hong Kong government would consider change too.

However, Chan did not response what was the next step after the legislative amendments.

“We should do it step by step,” Chan said. --165136 2019年3月17日 (日) 23:21 (CST)

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