Hanged gangster praised for donating organs

January 11th, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, Jan 11 (DPA) A Singapore gangster was praised Sunday for donating two kidneys, a liver and a cornea, after he was hanged in prison for murdering a nightclub owner.The Sunday Times profiled the good deeds of Tan Chor Jin, whose kidney was transplanted into ailing retail magnate Tang Wee Sung - who was jailed a day and fined $11,447 in June for attempting to buy an organ, in a case that led to amending the Human Organ Transplant Act.

“By his own act of donating his own body parts to save whichever life that can be saved, I think that’s a very praiseworthy act on the part of the late Tan, and I think that should be commended,” the city state’s Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan was quoted as saying.

Tan, 42, was a leader of a gang that operated in Singapore and Malaysia since the 1950s, trafficking in illegal drugs, smuggling weapons, and gambling, according to the newspaper report.

Tan, also known as One Eye Dragon for being blind in one eye, had requested that his kidneys, liver and cornea be donated and help others rather than go to waste, the newspaper quoted his brother Tan Chor Juay as saying.

Tan’s organs were harvested in a special room within the prison where a doctor confirmed him dead following the Friday dawn hanging.

The Singapore government amended its laws after a nationwide debate which highlighted the plight of patients willing to buy organs after the 56-year old Tang’s case.

Local reports said the amended act would benefit about 520 patients waiting for kidneys. About 80 kidney transplants are carried out every year in Singapore.

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