From 12 to 211: Legislators have a change of heart, pledge organs

In the span of a year, MLAs and MLCs of the state seem to have had a change of heart -- about pledging their hearts, livers, kidneys and other organs for those in need of them.

Last year, when an appeal was made for eye donation, just 12 legislators responded positively. But, things seem to have turned around radically this year, with as many as 211 legislators responding to an appeal for organ donation.

The windfall came in an initiative organised by the state public health department in the ongoing monsoon session of the state legislature. By last evening, 211 legislators -- 168 from the state assembly and 43 from the state council -- showed their willingness to donate their organs, state public health minister Suresh Shetty told MiD DAY.

Three counters -- two at the state assembly and one at the state council -- have been opened specially for this purpose. Representatives of the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC) have been assisting willing MLAs and MLcs in filling up the consent forms.

Legislators have pledged to donate hearts, livers, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, eyes, skin, bones, heart valves and eardrums, a representative of the city’s ZTCC said.

“The response is encouraging, as the number of willing donors last year was dismal. Despite an appeal, the total number of donors could not go beyond 12, out of which four were the ministers,” said Shetty, adding, “This year’s response was good and will go a long way in saving lives of patients in need of vital organs. The response given by legislators will encourage the general public to donate organs.” 

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