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PCG dispels organ harvest rumor about dead OFW

28 February 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao and Marites Palma 

The Consulate has dispelled rumors about a plan to harvest a Filipina domestic helper’s vital organs after she died on Feb. 23 from brain hemorrhage due to a stroke.

Corazon P. Cabansag, 53, died at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Hospital in Chaiwan, six days
after collapsing in the lift of her employers’ residential block in Shaukeiwan.

Shortly after she died, some of her acquaintances posted on social media that the hospital was set to harvest the maid’s organs because she was an organ donor card holder. A close friend waded in, saying the procedure did not happen because one of Cabansag’s three siblings opposed it.
But an officer of Consulate’ assistance to nationals section rejected the talks.

“There was no such thing as an organ donation from Cabansag,” said the officer.

Another ATN officer explained that the hospital doctors cannot just take out patient’s organs without the consent of her nearest kin, who must secure approval from the Philippine government through the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Hindi nila basta-basta pwedeng galawin ang katawan niya, mahigpit ang gobyerno natin sa ganyan,” he said, adding that the hospital has to get the approval of the Consulate because the victim is a Filipino citizen.

“Of course, they can’t just donate her organs without going through official channels. Our government is very strict about such process,” he added.

Organ trafficking is one of the problems that the inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking is watching closely amid reports impoverished individuals have taken to selling their vital organs for good money because there is a lucrative market them overseas.

Cabansag, single and a native of Mallig, Isabela, had served her employer for the past 21 years, according to ATN and her friends.

Her uncle and his wife reportedly flew to Hong Kong on learning about her condition to be at her bedside and attend to her needs. Relatives say the uncle, a brother of Cabansag’s father, returned home shortly after the helper died.

The daughter of Cabansag’s employer reportedly went to the ATN twice, on Tuesday, Feb 20, to report her illness, and three days later, to seek advice on the requirements and documentary procedures in the event of the maid’s death.

Cabansag died later that day, said the ATN officer, who added that the employer’s daughter relayed the news to her on Monday morning.

The elderly employers and their 30-year-old daughter were reportedly sad because they had considered Cabansag as a family member as she had been working with them for a long time.
The employers were scheduled to move Cabansag’s remains from the hospital morgue to the Hong Kong Funeral Homes on Friday, Mar. 3, the officer said.

Cabansag was said to be supporting one of her brothers who is ill. One sibling is in Canada, while another is a teacher.

Last July, Cabansag went home for a vacation to visit her father, who was very sick at that time. A few days later, her father pased away.

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