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Abstract 摘要

There is an organ shortage worldwide and particularly in China. Many researchers in the field of bioethics agree that Confucianism impedes the modern notion of organ donation due to its position on “filial piety” (xiao) in terms of “not damaging one’s body.” The Confucian concept of xiao demands that children obey their parents, serve them diligently, bury them respectfully and worship them afterward. It also proclaims that a person’s body, hair and skin are gifts from their parents that cannot be damaged.

This essay intends to show that such an interpretation of the Confucian concept of xiao is misleading because it is based on a misreading of an important statement from the Xiaojing (Classic of Filial Piety). According to some exegeses, the idea of “damage” in the original text should be understood as “damage via criminal punishment” instead of a general kind of “damage.” The author contends that it is equally problematic for people to consider keeping one’s body intact as a supreme principle in Confucian moral teachings. Although filial piety is a key principle in Confucianism, it is not the primary factor holding back organ donation. Although traditional Confucian principles emphasize the “wholeness of the body,” they do not prevent many Confucian scholars from taking different views, as Confucius claims that “the man of humaneness (ren) is one who, desiring to sustain himself, sustains others.” This essay concludes that a new interpretation of the Confucian text and its meaning would help to encourage more people to volunteer as organ donors.

通過引證《孝經》的傳統的重新注釋,本文指出中國生命倫理學界對“身體髮膚,受之父母,不敢毀傷”的理解有不足之處,既未注意到“毀傷”可作“刑傷”解,也未注意到“毀傷”即使作“損傷”解,以上說話也不排除親屬之間器官捐獻的可能性。此外,身體之完整在儒家倫理體系中並非最高道德原則,因為身與義的關係是需要考察具體的情境來做道德評判。在從新註釋儒家文本的前提下,筆者試圖證明,今天在中國大陸要推進器官捐獻事業,並不需要否定《孝經》中這一要求保持身體完整性的原則,因為儒家倫理體系與贊同器官捐獻並非不可化解的矛盾,問題的關鍵不是否定“不敢毀傷”,而是肯定器官捐獻的選擇合乎仁義,符合“立身行道”。論證捐獻器官挽救他人生命是一種值得讚美的高貴選擇可以將捐獻者及其家屬從所謂“不孝”的輿論壓力之下解脫出來。

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