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Authors

Yanghui Zhang

Abstract 摘要

In Chinese culture, the preservation of the integrity of the body is greatly significant, which has led to a shortage of corpses in medical teaching and research and become a major problem restricting the development of medical research and treatment in China. Accordingly, it is generally believed that traditional Chinese culture has been a barrier to body donation in China. However, based on interviews and literature analyses, this paper shows that the factors leading to the body donation shortage in China are much more complicated than this simple “cultural” belief. The core problem, as our investigation finds, is that children and parents are in conflict over the value of the body and death and the virtue of filial piety. The cultural root of this conflict is not merely the nature or content of the traditional Confucian culture as identified by most researchers. Rather, it is a result of the complex interplay between modern scientific, revolutionary and traditional ethical views on the role of the body, the function of the Chinese patriarchal clan system and the blending of elastic spirit and modern secular culture. Finally, the paper argues that although donators and their children may have different understandings and value conflicts, their ultimate goal is highly consistent, that is, to achieve human dignity as expressed in modern Chinese society.

在中國文化中,保留個人軀體的完整性具有重要意義,這導致醫學教學和科研中的屍源短缺現象成為制約醫學發展的一大問題。中國傳統文化一直被各界認為是阻礙遺體捐獻的根源,但本文基於訪談和文獻分析,發現導致這一現象的原因遠較傳統文化的影響更為複雜,其核心問題在於子女與父母在看待身體、死亡和“孝”上存在的多元價值觀衝突。價值觀衝突的文化根源不僅是多數研究指認的儒家傳統文化,而是一個包含著傳統文化、現代文化、精英文化與世俗文化相互交融和衝突的複雜問題。同時,兩者雖然在觀念上存在矛盾衝突,但所追求的終極目標具有高度一致性,即實現人的“尊嚴”。

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