Death is inevitable. But it is very hard to predict when we die. We might never know when we or our loved one might end up. But is there another life after death? Can we give people the ability to be mobile in death? Yes we can live different lives even after death by saving 8-10 lives through the gift of organ and tissue donation. Those who can defeat death are treated as gods on our earth. In the same way, a live donor or a brain-dead person could be a god to someone after donating his limbs. That's why the generousness of those heroes is commemorated on World Organ Donation Day which takes place on every 13 August.
1. Organ Donation?
We have heard donating money, clothes, blood etc. But what is 'Organ Donation' exactly? We figure it out for you. It is the process of displacing tissues or organs from a live or recently dead person to the living recipient. The former is the donor and the latter is the recipient. People of all ages can become donors. The era of organ transplantation has been continuing since 18th century.
2. Who Can Become A Donor?
Anyone (including children with the consent of parents) can become an organ donor irrespective of age, caste, religion, community, current or past medical condition.
But, the health conditions such as active cancer, active HIV, active sepsis or Intravenous (IV) drug use are some of the contraindications.
Patients with Hepatitis C may still donate organs to a patient with Hepatitis C. The same is true for Hepatitis B - but this happens in very rare cases.
Most cancer patients may donate corneas.
Donor can't donate organs after a cardiac death as organs die due to lack of oxygen supply. However, they can donate tissues after death.
3. Consent Systems
Two voluntary consent systems which include Opt-In where the donor gives his consent, and Opt-Out where those who haven't refused to consent to donate is considered as donors. India follows the Opt-In system while many other countries practice the Opt-Out system.
4. Forms Of Organ Donation
There are three types of organ donation.
Live Related Organ Donation in which a living person from the deceased can donate blood, either of his/her two kidneys, or a portion of lungs, intestine, (one-third of) liver, or pancreas. No restrictions over blood donations.
Live Unrelated Donation in which a living person (friend, relative or neighbour) can donate his/her organs. The governments impose sanctions over others except for blood relatives in case of donating kidney and liver.
Cadaver Donation in which heart, heart valves, veins, eye, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, cornea, small intestine, skin tissues, and bone tissues are harvested from a brain-dead person.
It happens due to an irreparable neurological injury which means massive trauma to the brain, stroke or automobile accident. Doctors check the absence of brain or brain stem activity and the flow of blood and oxygen to the organs. After all these efforts, they declare whether the person is brain-dead. Then only, his body is accepted for organ donation with the consent of his parents or relatives or friends.
6. When Are Organs Removed After Death?
Organs will be removed as soon as possible once the patient is declared brain-dead and while circulation is being maintained artificially. Within 12 to 24 hours, tissues may be removed.
7. Reasons For Minuscule Donations In India
Lots of Indians those who suffer from serious health disorders have been losing their lives in the middle as their organs stop functioning well or get failed. They all need to be transplanted. In the meantime, many people who died in accidents are being buried.
Factors like family consent, negative attitude, religion, fear, ignorance, misunderstanding, legal aspects, superstitions, media reports on scandals involving organ rackets etc.
Lack of patient care, trained transplant co-ordinators and grief counsellors, improved hospital infrastructure, qualified intensivists and surgeons etc.
8. Time To Pledge
Come ahead to promise to donate your precious organs for a noble cause. Governments, organizations, colleges, offices have to disseminate the value of organ donation through campaigns, and posters. If governments create a national database, it could be transparent and easy for sharing organs. Famous personalities across India like Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Amitabh, Navjot Singh Sidhu etc.. have pledged organ donation. Register to become an organ donor in any one of the NGOs.
9. Quotations For Organ Donation
For that which is born death is certain and for the dead, birth certain...Therefore grieve not over that which is inevitable - Bhagavad Gita
Iddham Shariram Paropakardum (This body is for the use of others) – Shankaracharya
Death is just a beginning of another life - Upanishads
Death is not extinguishing the light. It is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come - Tagore
God created man to be immortal and made him to be an image of his own eternity - Bible, The Wisdom of Solomon
Organ donation can be a new twist to a tragic death. The organs wasted are lives lost. Be a hero by giving a lease of life to many recipients. Because there is no greater joy than giving someone a life!