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HK legal fetuses’ burial should be relaxed to after 20 weeks

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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By Matthew Chan February 12, 2019


Amendments of Hong Kong fetuses’ burial legislation should be made, relax from after 24 weeks to after 20 weeks, a father says in a Shue Yan University talk.

“Hong Kong should follow the standard of United States, which some of the states regulate treatment of fetal remains under 20 weeks as clinical wastes, while Hong Kong’s legislation of clinical disposal is fetuses under 24 weeks,” said Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese and priest of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Caine Road.

Chan successfully set up a garden of remembrance called “Angel Garden” for the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery at Cape Collinson for the burial of stillborn fetuses less than 24 weeks’ gestation in 2017.

However, asking whether the government could draw reference from the above example, Sophia Chan, the Secretary for Food and Health replied “under the existing legal framework, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is unable to make similar arrangements in its public cemeteries” last year.

Chan reckoned Hong Kong, as a “civilized city”, should discuss the relaxation, or even amend the legislation.

He explained his belief that a fetus is already a human; which relaxation of related laws could help not just Catholics, but also all Hong Kong parents who have miscarriages, in terms of remembering their children and healing their sadness.

Hong Kong artist Dicky Cheung Wai-kin, another speaker of the talk, also experienced miscarriage few years ago and suffered from the loss.

“If there was a place for me to mourn, I believe I did not need such a long period to recover from the sadness,” said Cheung.

Cheung now actively spreads gospel and promotes the awareness of respecting fetuses of miscarriage.

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