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 'Living funerals' in Taiwan

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Join date : 2009-10-04
Age : 32

PostSubject: 'Living funerals' in Taiwan   Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:57 pm

TAIPEI - THE eulogies, the songs, the crying and the hugging all make David Tseng's funeral virtually indistinguishable from any other such rite on Taiwan - except he is still alive.

Mr Tseng is only 25 but he is wheelchair-bound and in the terminal stage of a genetic muscular disease that has paralysed him since childhood, with no known cure.

'I don't know how many days I have left so I want to hold a 'living funeral' for myself, to announce my last wish of donating my body for medical studies,' Mr Tseng said.

In Taiwan, 'living funerals' have been embraced by a growing number of people with terminal diseases. Mr Tseng, a native of south Taiwan's Kaohsiung city, bade farewell to his family and a group of about 100 doctors and students last month at a local medical school which will receive his body when the day comes.

'I may not live a long life but I have the company of my family and many people who care for me. I finished college and wrote a book... I didn't live in vain,' Mr Tseng told the audience as his mother wiped away her tears.

'I think what matters in life is its value, not how long it is, so we should cherish the time we have and do something good,' he said. -- AFP

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