Blood Donation Appeal for Ex-Actor Chen Wencong (陈文聪): Doing the Right Thing vs Doing the Right Thing AND Doing It Right

Blood Donation Appeal went Viral
Blood Donation Appeal went Viral

Recently, there was a blood donation appeal for a former television actor, Chen Wencong (陈文聪) that went viral, generating a fair bit of media buzz and frenzy.

The appeal was first posted on Facebook and Twitter on Friday evening (28 Oct), by MediaCorp artiste, Zhang Zhenhuan (张振寰), appealing for donors with AB blood type to provide blood and platelets.

Here’s the exact message:

I’ve a colleague who is in need urgent blood and platelet transfusion. He is AB Blood group, so he can take in O, A, B and AB blood.

Please proceed to:
Blood Services Group, Health Sciences Authority,
11 Outram Road (within SGH grounds), Opposite Outram MRT station.

Kindly indicate his name “Tan Boon Chong (S7011332E)” and inform the nurses that he urgently needs blood and platelet transfusion. And to make sure you are donating for him. Please help!!!!

大家还记得陈文聪? 他曾经是一位艺人。他得了血癌, 需要大量的血液。请大家帮帮忙。希望你们可以伸出援手,到Blood Service Group 的Health Sciences Authority (11 Outram Road), 并注明是给「Tan Boon Chong S7011332E」,他的血型是AB型,所以任何血型的人都可以帮助到他! 谢谢你们的爱心!谢谢!



When I first saw this appeal, I was a little puzzled as it was stated that Wencong can accept blood from ANY blood type. Logically, there should be ample supply in the blood banks. Even if there was a shortage, I believe an appeal to just Wencong’s immediate friends and family members would have suffice. Was a public appeal really necessary? Especially one which detailed the patient’s medical condition and even his NRIC number. I decided not to pass this message on as I do not want to contribute to needless alarm.

Moreover, Wencong may not even want all these attention in the first place, given that most people would prefer to keep our medical conditions private. I certainly would.

When I read Yong Wei’s summary blog post on the whole saga yesterday, I was all the more assured there is a big difference between “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing and doing it right”.

Those who jump on the bandwagon and mass propagate the donation appeal without doing any background check are “doing the right thing”; in the sense that they are relaying an appeal for help as Good Samaritans. However, they do not realise they may also be contributing to harmful mass hysteria by spreading untruth. What if the appeal was fake or not something that the patient or his family members would be comfortable with?

As an informed and regular blood donor, Yong Wei was one of the rare few who bothered to find out more before deciding on his course of action. He was “doing the right thing AND doing it right”.

Guess what? There was sufficient blood supply to begin with. The donation appeal was unnecessary.

Without pointing fingers at anyone, wouldn’t it now seem like the artistes who jumped on the bandwagon are just capitalising on Wencong’s plight to get some media coverage (even if this wasn’t their intent)?