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Eliminate myths about organ donation

Kavita Karkare, wife of slain former Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, passed away at P D Hinduja hospital in Mahim recently. She was admitted to the hospital after she suffered from brain haemorrhage and was declared brain dead.

What is heartening to note is that her children had expressed a wish to donate her organs. According to reports, one of her kidneys went to a man who had been surviving with the help of dialysis for nearly a decade. The recipient of the other kidney was a patient who had been waiting for a transplant for seven years. A man who had been battling liver failure for a few years got her liver and her eyes were to donated to a blood bank. In her death, Even in death, Kavita Karkare has given a second lease of life to others.

The move will also lead to awareness about cadaver donation and inspire people to pledge their organs. One must remember that Kavita was brain dead. Doctors rue that families refuse to donate the organs of a relative who is brain dead, insisting that it means they are alive. They say they find it extremely difficult to convince families to donate the organs of a loved one who is brain dead as families believe the person will may still live and cannot accept the fact that brain death is death.

Organ donation remains mired in misconception and myth, so any such moves can only further the cause that doctors are battling so hard to promote. Organisations, too, are trying to rope in celebrities to raise interest in, and awareness about, donation. Eye donation awareness has improved quite significantly. Now, the cause will get a boost overall.

Personnel at donation centres have spoken out about how families simply refuse to let them take the organs even when the dead person had pledged them. It is difficult trying to convince a grieving family, so several times they have to return defeated. Kavita Karkare’s children have set a shining example by donating their mother’s organs and have shown that ‘leave and let live’ are not empty words.

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