All Significant Facts Regarding Organ Donation in India

The surgical procedure of transplanting a healthy organ, in order to replace the defective one is organ donation. It is carried out to increase the survival rate by years. In some chronic conditions like leukemia or kidney failure, the only solution left is organ donation. So, here we are with some significant facts regarding organ donation in India:

Varied organ donation types:

  • Deceased donation :
    Under this type of donation, the patient has to get himself registered in a hospital performing transplants. After registration, the patient has to wait, until the organ from a brain dead or a suitable deceased donor becomes available. Thereafter, the patient is informed.
  • Living donation :
    This takes place when a living person, for the sake of transplantation, donates an organ. This donor can be a relative, family member, neighbor or even a friend. What is an eligibility criterion? As far as eligibility is concerned, there’s no age limit in India for organ donation. The process can be started at as young as mere 6 weeks. A person can donate all his organs, even tissues- lungs, heart, corneas, kidneys etc. Even, it is possible to transplant living organ, particularly in the case of kidneys where the donor can lead a healthy life with a single kidney.

What is India’s legal position when it comes to organ donation?

Organ donation stands legal in India under the THOA or Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, which even legalizes the ‘brain death’ concept, condition wherein permanent cessation of all the functions of the brain happens. In brain death, life cannot be sustained by a person; however, the maintenance of vital body functions is possible in ICU. Artificial life support is provided to such patients, so that the organs are kept in a working condition.

It is important to note that brain death is not at all similar to coma, which is a deep unconscious state where the functionality of the brain is not affected without any external help. A person won’t be declared brain dead, if there’s any activity in the brain.

Before the process of organ donation in India takes place, the person must be declared brain dead jointly by the panel of 4 doctors, including an authorized specialist, a medical administrator, the patient’s doctor and a neurologist. Harvesting of organs is possible only after this. Thereafter, a series of extensive tests is undertaken to announce brain death.

How you can register for organ donation in India?

The process of organ donation is voluntary wherein the person can fill up a consent form to donate his organs in the event of his demise. This consent form is available online at the website of NOTTO i.e. National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization. You can also get the form from the hospital where organ transplant takes place.

Why organ donation must be considered by you?

With the latest medical advancements, it is possible for all age people to become donors even if there’s any sort of medical history. However, the final decision depends on the analysis of medical condition of donor by the doctor.

Vital organs are essential for people in dire need, so as to sustain their life.  The situation of unavailability of an organ donor can be easily avoided, keeping in mind the number of patients dying every day. We should donate organs to save someone’s life even after our death.

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.

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