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ABSTRACT: Body donation is important for medical education and academic research. However, it is relatively rare in Hong Kong when compared with many Western countries. Comprehensive research has been performed on the motivation for body donation in Western countries; however, there is still insufficient research on body donation in Hong Kong to provide information on how to increase the body-donation rate. To understand the factors involved in the decision to donate one's body, the authors interviewed a registered donor and the daughter of another donor in Hong Kong. The authors interpreted the information collected in light of the available published reports, which mostly focus on body donation in Western countries. Despite the consistency of some demographic factors and motivations between the participants in our study and those investigated in the published reports from Western countries, there are differences in education level and socioeconomic status between the donors in our study and those from Western studies. The authors also suggest that Confucianism and Buddhism in Chinese culture may motivate potential body donors in Hong Kong. Other important factors that influence the body-donation decision may include family members' body donation, registration as organ donors, and good doctor-patient relationships. Although case report studies have their limitations, this study allows us to explore the complexity of events and establish the interconnectivity of factors involved in body donation, which could not be achieved in previous survey-based studies. © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.
Anatomical Sciences Education 04/2012; 5(5):295-300.