mid-day editorial: Cadaver donations: On the right track

Heartening news it is and that is pun intended. Five months after Mumbai witnessed its first successful heart transplant, there was a fifth heart transplant in the city. A 52-year-old received a donor organ from Surat.

The donor was a 43 year-old man who died in an accident a few days earlier, after a car hit his two-wheeler. He was declared brain dead at the hospital. It is good to know that families are becoming more aware about organ donation and we are seeing at least some movement and willingness on the part of people, to give and let live. With increasing awareness, people are approaching NGOs working in the field of cadaver donation, who are helping families on the correct path, when it comes to cadaver donation.

This liaising is extremely important, as sometimes we see that people who have good intentions and actually want to donate their loved one’s organs, do not quite know how to go about it. It is here that awareness and information plays a huge part. It is time for all agencies, including the government to go all out to publicise cadaver donation, clear grey areas, set up a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers campaign, maybe on social media to clear so many myths that continue to shroud organ pledging and donation.

These transplants, which have received good play in the press, must act as a spur for the movement of cadaver donation. Let all organizations working in the field actually use this news as leverage, and persuade even more people to pledge to become donors.

In the past, doctors and organisations working in the field, have rued the fact that they have a number of obstacles when it comes to pledging and donation. Religion is primary, as many people that their religion does not allow them to pledge their organs. Superstitions like if you pledge an organ, you will be born without that in your next birth, are rife too.

Slowly, but surely, the walls must come down and cadaver donation should become the norm rather than a pleasant exception.

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