If we accept the principle that universal human rights are worth embracing, then all human life must be included within this ideal. That's what "universal" means. Human rights begin when human life begins and ends with life's natural conclusion. Anything else is either ignorance or sophistry and bigotry." -- Mark Davis Pickup
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Bodies of disabled sold in China
Sometime disturbing to my attention by Dr. Dick Sobsey, the Director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada). Apparently, there is a demand in China for the bodies of disabled people. See http://icad.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/hong-kong-murder-for-corpse-ring .
It’s ironic that in the wake of Paralympics hosted by China that various news sources have reported a gang in Guangdong province has been arrested for kidnapping and killing between 100-400 people with disabilities. Their bodies were sold on the black market to wealthy families who want to bury their own deceased. Cremation is the only legal way of dealing with the dead in China so they present for cremation the corpse of the disabled person they purchased for about $1,500 Cdn.
Apparently Chinese tradition considers cremation disrespectful. This is why wealthy families buy murdered bodies of people with disabilities to present for cremation instead of their loved ones.
Not only do China’s disabled live low and desperate lives but the final insult to their existence is given in death. (I don't know why I'm singling out China!)
Dr. Sobsey said, “If this story isn't disturbing enough, it is almost as troubling that Reuter's and Time have covered this story in sections of their publications reserved for quaint curiosities and silly oddities rather than serious news.”
We should not be surprised. That’s the way people with disabilities have been treated throughout history? Curiosities and oddities.