We all are aware about eye donation, but not many people are aware about organ donation. There are so many myths about organ donation in the society. Today is the time when we need to create awareness about it and promise to donate ones organs. Every year thousands of people die waiting for someone to donate an organ which can save their life. I played my role by being an organ donor, will you play yours???
I know there are so many questions in your mind, like what to donate? When to donate? Why to donate? Am I allowed by my religion? Let’s first focus on myths about organ donation. Some common myths are:
Myth: Only hearts, livers and kidneys can be transplanted.
Fact: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissues that can be donated include the eye, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.
Myth: if you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged for the costs.
Facts: There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.
Myth: Your religion prohibits organ donation.
Fact: All major organised religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.
Myth: Your history of medical illness means your organs or tissues are unfit for donation.
Fact: at the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It’s best to tell your family your wish es and sign up to be an organ and tissue donor on your driver’s license or an official donor document.
Myth: When you are waiting for a transplant your financial or celebrity status is as important as your medical status.
Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.
Why to donate organs?
In Hindu culture we burn the corpse (dead body). In other cultures they bury the corpse. It gets decomposed after few years. Before burying / burning if some organs in our body can save someone’s life then what is the harm in doing so and be in the memories of everyone. All religions preach to be a good human being. Religions also preach to be kind to man kind. I believe organ donation is one of the noble causes which we all should follow to be a human being.
When can you donate organs??
We can donate organs when we are alive or even after our death. When we are alive we can donate few organs as one kidney, a portion of pancreas and a part of liver. There are two ways of Organ donation:
1. Living related donors: only immediate blood relatives (brother, sister, parents & children, grandparents and grandchildren) can donate as per the Transplantation of Human Organ (Amendment) Act 2011. Living donor can donate only few organs, one kidney (as one kidney is capable of maintaining the body functions), a portion of pancreas (as half of the pancreas is adequate for sustaining pancreatic functions) and part of the liver (as the few segments that are donated will regenerate after a period of time) can be donated.
2. Cadaver Organ donor: can donate all organs after brain death.
Which organs can we donate?
We can donate Internal organs: Kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, Skin, Bone and bone marrow and Cornea. Organs donated by one person can help as many as 50 people.
How to donate?
Donors, who have during their lifetime, consented for organ donation in writing in the presence of two witnesses (at least one of whom is a near relative) should carry their donor cards with them and also express their wish to their near and dear ones. In case of no such consent or donor pledge form was filled before death, then the authority to give consent for organ donation lies with the person lawfully in possession of the dead body.
Organ Donation Process:
- Hospital Organ registry coordinates the process of cadaver organ donation i.e. organ donation after death and transplantation.
- There are two ways to donate organs:
- By pledging for organ donation when a person is alive
- By consent of family after death
- During lifetime, a person can pledge for organ donation by filling up a donor form in the presence of two witnesses, one of whom shall be a near relative.
- Organ donor can contact his/ her nearby hospital to register themselves as organ donors.
- The donor form is absolutely free of cost.
- After filling up of the form, hospital will provide the donor with an organ donor card bearing registration number on it.
- It is suggested to keep the donor card in your pocket and share your decision with your near and dear ones.
- If a person expires without registration, the family members can donate his/her organs. For this they need to sign a consent form, which is provided at that time.
- Once, the relatives give a written consent, organs are harvested within a few hours.
- The family of the donor would not face any difficulty or extra burden upon them.
- The transplant coordination team carries out the entire process till the relatives receive the body of the deceased.
- The deceased body is given back to the family in a dignified way.
- There is no disfigurement. The body can be viewed as in any case of death and funeral arrangements need not be delayed.
Where can you register as donor?
It is very easy to be an organ donor. You can register yourself with any of the hospitals or even there are some NGOs who register you as an organ donor. The most important thing is your close relatives should be aware about your wish.
Let’s join our hands to save some lives. Let’s take a step towards a noble cause.