【編者的話】何必曰戰?

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1993 / 11月

文‧蕭容慧



海風舒緩慵懶地吹拂著人聲喧譁的淡水鎮,廟口「那卡西」歌手所唱的「淡水暮色」,輕輕地撥動遊人的心弦。這個台灣電影中最常出現的小鎮,在十月廿三日有一場文化「嘉年華會」——「淡水文化市集」。成人眼中,它是饒富意義的文化活動,在小朋友心目中,卻是一場快快樂樂的園遊會。

平常古樸冷清的老街,此刻「人氣」沸騰,充滿活力。聞名的魚丸和鐵蛋吸引許多食客;淡水的文物書刊及史料,供人追溯老鎮的歷史源頭;「優劇場」在街頭演出;吹糖人的現場表演,讓小孩大人不但看得開心,還直流口水……。

然而,曲散人空,淡水又恢復它既有的寧謐。這麼一座充滿鄉土氣息的古老小鎮,究竟有什麼價值?

「淡水!是孕育我們、乳養我們的地方……我們和她交融的不僅是瞭解,而是生命的、感情的……無論她那靈秀的山川、濃醇的人情,會變質到什麼地步,只要我們生存在台灣這個島,她永遠是我們的精神所託。」「滬尾街」期刊總編輯蘇文魁在一篇文章中寫到。

而黃瑞茂也為文指出,「都市是人類在時間向度上的人造環境現象;其中蘊含著人類長期求生存所累積的集體感受,並藉由特定文化的關懷和實踐呈現在真實的空間環境中。這些發展經驗,都表現在淡水這個小鎮上。」

可是,在台灣土地價值高漲、都市大肆開發之際,這些代表台灣地區的傳統長條形街屋、在淡水依地形起伏而建的老房子,能否倖存?

由於正反意見都有,目前尚未定論。

不遠的例子則發生在春雨連綿的北縣三峽鎮。五月,三峽鎮上的「三級古蹟」——民權街上的一座巴洛克式建築倒塌,引起主張拆屋改建的住戶抗議,要求還他們「自由處分財產」之權;但另方面,學者也堅持政府應該負起責任,保存這座文化資產。

公說公有理,婆說婆有理。問題的癥結在於,保存與開發無法兼顧時,孰敗孰贏?

正因三峽居民的強烈抗議,主管機關內政部在八月只好解除了有關古蹟的「禁令」,但問題並沒有真正解決。其他的古蹟怎麼辦呢?

有人質疑,這樣下去,台灣豈不變成一個沒有「歷史」的地方!?新舊之間,難道沒有兩全的選擇?

中原大學建築研究所副教授喻肇青說:「拿古蹟的『凍結』觀念看活的生活社區,是行不通的。生活社區最主要的本質,就是變。」因此他在處理類似情況時,總會「先和居民談改善公共設施的問題」。

當然,這還只是開始。如何整合各個相關單位,凝聚共識,才是保存文化財的關鍵。在本期的封面故事中,您會對台灣地區面臨的文化古蹟保存戰,有更深入的了解。

雖然中華民國台灣因幣值升高、物價上漲,而導致觀光收入的負成長,但一項新的誘因,正在逐漸成形。它吸引的對象是華人,來台的目的不是觀光,而是求子!

在台灣,試管嬰兒生殖科技已有相當水準,而收費低、溝通方便的優點,更不可小覷。

以榮民總醫院而言,試管嬰兒每週期的成功率約在三成左右;而美國在一九九一年全美的試管嬰兒成功率平均為廿五%。

在費用方面,根據統計,在台作一個周期的治療費用約新台幣七∼八萬,同樣的手術在美國約需廿七萬新台幣,在英國約新台幣四十萬。

另方面,同文同種的背景,也使求醫者在溝通上免除很多困擾。對中國「不孝有三,無後為大」的文化習俗,此地醫生自有更深刻的體會。

在本期「試管嬰兒MIT」專題中,介紹了目前台灣生殖科技的概況及有待加強之處,並也企圖釐清一般人「試管嬰兒不應產生唐氏症」和「生殖科技可以造人」的錯誤觀念。

試管嬰兒的操作技術,並不等於周延的產前檢查,因此任何自然受孕胎兒可能發生的危險,經由人工生殖仍然會發生,其中包括因染色體突變引起的唐氏症。

此外,所謂的「試管嬰兒」,指的是在試管內受精,並非在試管內孕育——這也是人們較容易混淆之處。

在探討過程中,我們蒐集到許多感人的故事:原本被「宣判」不孕,之後辛苦求子的夫妻,因得子而抱頭痛哭;一位媽媽受盡肉體的折磨,產下的寶貝卻有先天性心臟病,她卻無怨無悔,且心存感激……。

科技可以解決的問題,雖然不少;無法解決的,更佔多數。在台灣生殖技術可以無愧色地誇人之際,仍有不少失望的不孕夫妻。有一位學者坦然面對無子嗣的事實,他笑道:「前世不虧不欠,才修得這般福氣!」不知道這話對不孕夫妻能否有一點安慰?!

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EN

Why Should it be a Battle?

Sunny Hsiao /tr. by Robert Taylor


While a light sea breeze blows lazily across the hubbub of human voices which fills Tanshui, the sound of an outdoor karaok performer singing Tanshui at Dusk outside the temple entrance plucks gently at the sightseers' heartstrings. On 23 October this little town, which appears so often in Taiwanese films, held a cultural "carnival" - the "Tanshui Culture Fair." For the grown-ups, it was an important cultural event, while for the children it was just an exciting day out.

That day the simple, usually lonely old streets came alive with the throng of visitors. The famous fishballs and "iron eggs" (eggs boiled in diluted soy sauce until small and hard) attracted many customers, and the exhibits, books, magazines and other records of Tanshui's history opened a window on the town's past. The You Theater put on local opera performances in the streets, and to watch figures being blown from hot malt sugar was mouth-watering fun for adults and children alike. . . .

But after the last tunes had died away and the visitors were gone, Tanshui fell back into its old slumber. Just what is the value of a little old town such as this with its characteristically Taiwanese atmosphere?

"Tanshui! It's the place which bore and suckled us . . . we are bound to her not only by understanding, but also by life and emotion. . . no matter how her lofty mountains and sparkling waters may be despoiled, her deep human intimacy diluted, as long as we live on this island of Taiwan, she will always be home to our spirits," Su Wen-kui, editor of the periodical Hu Wei Chieh wrote in an article.

In another article, Huang Jui-mao has observed: "A city is an artificial environment created by human beings over time, imbued with collective emotions accumulated over long periods of the human struggle for existence, and expressed in a real spatial environment through the concerns and practical operation of a specific culture. All aspects of t his developmental experience find expression in the little town of Tanshui."

But with Taiwan's soaring property prices and the headlong rush of urban development, can these old town houses, draped over Tanshui's undulating topography on the traditional long rectangular plots so typical of this province, survive?

Some say yes, some no; as yet we cannot be sure.

A recent example of what may happen can be found in the town of Sanhsia in Taipei County, where spring brings weeks of rainfall. In May, a baroque-style building in Sanhsia's Minchuan Street, the whole of which was protected as a "Class C Historic Site," collapsed. This brought protests and calls for the street to be demolished and rebuilt whom residents who demanded that they should be restored the right to "do with their property as they wish." But against them were raised the voices of scholars who insisted that the government should stand by its responsibility to preserve this cultural asset.

With neither side willing to compromise, the question at the heart of the dispute was this: when preservation and redevelopment are in-compatible, which should take priority?

Faced with the vehement protests of Sanhsia residents, in August the Ministry of the Interior, under whose remit the buildings fell, saw no alternative but to lift the "ban" protecting the site. But the issue has not really been resolved, for what is to become of other historical sites?

Some people have questioned whether, if things go on in this way, Taiwan will not become a place without "history"! Is there really no way to make balanced choices between the old and the new?

Associate Professor Yu Chao-ching of Chung Yuan University's Graduate School of Architecture comments: "One cannot just apply the concept of 'freezing' historic sites to a living community. The defining characteristic of a community is change." Thus when tackling similar situations he would always "first talk with residents about improving public facilities."

Of course, that is just the first step. The real key to preserving cultural assets is to successfully bring together the work of all agencies involved, and arrive at a consensus. Our cover story this month will help you better understand the battle over the preservation of cultural monuments which Taiwan is facing.

With inflation and the rising value of its currency, the Republic of China on Taiwan has seen negative growth in its income from tourism, but at the same time it has been gradually acquiring a new attraction which draws Chinese people to the island not to look at scenery, but to try to have children!

In Taiwan, the "test-tube baby" technique --in vitro fertilization (IVF) --has reached quite a high level of sophistication, and the advantages of lower cost and ease of communication are not to be overlooked.

For instance, at Taipei's Veterans' General Hospital, the success rate per cycle of IVF treatment is around 30%. In the USA, the success rate for IVF averaged 25% nationally in 1991.

As for the cost, one cycle of treatment in Taiwan costs NT$70- 80,000 in medical fees, compared with around NT$270,000 for the same procedure in the USA and around NT$400,000 in Britain.

Moreover, a common language and ethnic background remove many communication problems for patients, and doctors here are much more aware of the cultural importance to the Chinese of the Confucian precept that "there are three great unfilial acts, and the worst of these is not bearing offspring."

In this month's feature "Test-Tube Babies (Made in Taiwan)" we give an overview of fertility treatment in Taiwan, with its strengths and weaknesses. We also attempt to clarify the common but mistaken impressions that "test-tube babies shouldn't have Down's syndrome," or that "reproductive technology creates people."

The technique of in vitro fertilization is not the same as comprehensive testing during pregnancy, and a foetus produced by artificial fertilization can suffer any of the defects which may affect a naturally fertilized child, including Down's syndrome which results from a chromosomal mutation.

Furthermore, the name "test-tube baby" refers to fertilization of the ovum in the test tube, and does not mean that the baby develops in the test tube. This is another aspect about which many people are confused.

While researching the article, we came across many moving stories. A couple who, after being "pronounced" infertile, had gone through the long and difficult process of treatment, held each other and wept when the wife finally became pregnant; a mother who after enduring the pain of the procedures involved gave birth to a baby with a congenital heart defect was neither bitter nor regretful, but full of since re gratitude . . . .

Although there are many problems which can be solved by technology, there are even more which cannot. While the ROC's achievements in fertility treatment are certainly worthy of praise, there are still many infertile couples who are left disappointed. One scholar faced up frankly to the fact that he could have no son and heir, saying with a chuckle: "One's past lives have to be faultless to earn such happiness!" Can his words give any consolation to infertile couples?

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