Yesterday, this paper carried a report about how a family suffered after a 44-year-old Mulund resident was declared brain dead at a city hospital. His family decided to donate his organs. Their well-meaning decision was repaid with a harrowing ordeal that lasted five and a half hours, before medical and police officers would complete the procedure and allow them to take their loved one’s body home.
It was when the family visited a civil hospital to complete the organ donation procedure and paperwork with the mandatory post-mortem and NOC from the police, that they were truly tested. A muddle about paperwork and ignorance that follows after a cadaver donation complicated matters. One staffer took three hours to fill out a simple form, claimed a relative. They also claimed that the police were unaware of the procedure.
Hospitals across the city must ensure that cadaver donation is a smooth, hassle-free process for the family. As it is, doctors are hard- pressed to convince persons to pledge their organs. Myths abound about organ donation and organisations working in the field talk about how difficult it is to combat these myths, one of which is that if a person’s organs are donated, he will be born without them, in his rebirth. In other instances, families simply refuse to accept that brain death is death and donate the organs even though the person may have pledged them. Misconceptions abound about skin donation too. Celebrities are being used in campaigns to encourage organ donation. Religious leaders have spoken out telling people that myths about donation are baseless.
In a heartening sign, awareness is growing. So it is important that the process does not receive a setback with grieving families made to go through a real rigmarole when it comes to cadaver donation. Make the process smooth, quick and as less stressful as possible, that is the best way to ensure that you have many more who pledge to donate and be true to the adage: leave and let live.