Tuesday, March 27, 2012

in the news

two stories of interest to me in the news this morning. 
China to ban transplants from executed prisoners

2012-March-26 08:53 Shenzhen Daily
CHINA has pledged to abolish the practice of taking transplant of human organs from condemned
 prisoners within three to five years, a senior health official said Thursday.China is creating a national
 organ donation system to reduce its reliance on inmates and encourage donations from the public,
 Huang Jiefu, vice minister of health, told a conference in Hangzhou.  A trial system has been launched
 in 16 provinces to achieve the goal, Huang said.  Health officials have said insufficient organ donations
by the public mean that the majority of transplanted organs in China come from executed prisoners —
 but only with prior consent.Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that about 1.5 million people
 in China need transplants, but only some 10,000 transplants are performed annually.
China has been making efforts to improve its regulations on organ transplants.
The State Council issued its first regulations on human organ transplants in 2007, banning
organizations and individuals from trading human organs in any form.
A revision to China’s Criminal Law marked the first time for authorities to single out criminal
 activity related to transactions involving human organs.
Criminals convicted of “forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from
 juveniles” could face homicide charges.

Pursuit of luxury brands by students triggers concern

Wang Yuanyuan
It's summer vacation, a time when students are free and annual summer sales
reign. On the busiest shopping streets in Shenzhen, young student shoppers
 are everywhere, even in the shops selling luxury world-famous brands that
would frighten even some white-collar workers with their sky-high prices.
Some students even cross the border to Hong Kong on shopping sprees. Many go
home with a pile of booty. When Zhong Shuhua saw her 16-year-old daughter's
shopping bag, which was filled with trendy clothes and cosmetic products,
she found herself gobsmacked. "I was so surprised to see what she had bought
in Hong Kong," Zhong said. "Lipsticks from Revlon, eyeliners from Rimmel,
dresses from I.T., a necklace from Swarovski and skin-care products from
Lancome -- all the things she doesn't need at such a young age." What Zhong
didn't know was that her daughter was definitely not an exception.Unlike years
ago, many middle school students now seem to have abandoned the cheaply
fashionable products in the Dongmen shopping area, once a paradise for
fashionistas with little money in their pockets. They've shifted their
playground to the high-end shopping malls for the brand products that are quite
beyond their means. "The beginning of every semester is always a time to show
off," said a teacher surnamed Cai at Bao'an Senior Middle School. Many
students come back to school with the prizes they've purchased during vacation.
"Boys have the latest cell phones or new PSPs and girls spread all kinds of
skin-care products on the table and trendy shoes under their beds in their
dormitories," Cai said. Of course not all students are like that, said Xu Qin,
a soon-to-be Senior 2 student from Shenzhen No.2 Experimental School. But the
phenomenon does exist among Xu's classmates and friends, Xu said.
Xu thought these problems might be the result of massive TV commercials and
popular fashion magazines widely read by students. "We have lots of channels to
get this kind of information," Xu said. "The more information you get, the more
you want to have them. So those who have a large amount of pocket money start
to buy these things, and the trend will gradually spread to their friends,
classmates and eventually the whole school." Xu said she was not a brand-name
fanatic but occasionally buys some of the expensive products when shopping
with her friends. "After a half-day shopping in Sasa Cosmetics in Hong Kong
with my friends, it was a mission impossible to wind up empty-handed, even
though I knew they were far too expensive for me," said Xu.  The trend has
triggered concerns among many parents and teachers who regard the pursuit of
brand-name products as stunting the proper development of students. "These
things are expensive and, most importantly, unnecessary for students," said
Cai. "The most important thing for them to learn now is the value of hard work,
which can make them realize wasting their parents' money is a shame. They must
get to know that in the future, they have to rely on themselves."
Schools have a role in educating students about this, said Pi Aimin, principal
of Shenzhen Wenjing Middle School. But Pi thinks parents can do more.
"Family education plays a crucial role in the issue," Pi said. "Parents should
control the amount of money they allow them to spend and never encourage their
children to get high scores in study by offering luxury gifts. Instead, they
can encourage them to participate in social work and help those in need.
Cultivating children's sense of independence is helpful to prevent them from
using parents' money for unnecessary things."

Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn

1 comment:

mythopolis said...

I dreamed I needed a heart transplant, and they told me I would be next in line for Dick Cheney's when he dies. I said, "Nah, I'll take my chances..." : )