‘Silent Mentors’: aspects of Buddhist bioethics in Taiwan

160115In December, Emeritus Professors Sheila Payne from the UK and Margaret O’Connor from Australia were keynote speakers at the National Taiwan University, at a week long research workshop on ‘Cancer, Hospice/Palliative Care and Bioethics in South East Asian Countries’.

As part of the workshop, participants travelled to the East coast of Taiwan to visit the Tzu Chi University and Hospital in Hualien, two large Buddhist institutions established by Buddhist nun, Jei Chi.

At the University, participants learned about the structure of both the medical and nursing courses, which both operate under the values of compassion, joy, unselfish giving and kindness.

To this end, all first year students learn the traditional tea-making ceremony and the art of flower arranging, activities which also serve to create self-awareness and reflection.

The ‘Silent Mentors’ programme was the most surprising aspect of the curriculum.

Patients and the public can elect to will their bodies to the University, as they do in many western cultures.

The subsequent involvement of the student and the family, and treatment of the body is however quite different…read more

From ehospice