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What India Can Do To Buck Up Its Organ Donation Rate


Imagine a situation where your loved one is battling a severe illness, and replacing the dysfunctional organ is the only way to overcome it. You apply for an organ transplant, and a despairing, seemingly endless wait begins. Finding a donor match is difficult to begin with but the fact that the rate of organ donation in India is only 0.26 per million people, makes the case of organ transplant worse.

What one donation can do

Not enough people are aware about the impact that organ donation can make, and the number of lives that each donation can save. One organ donor can donate up to twenty-five different organs and tissues for transplants. This can save up to eight lives! For most organ recipients, organ transplant is the single way of survival.

Are there any legal constraints to organ donation?

Organ donation is perfectly legal in India. Commercial trade of organs is, however, illegal. Both living donation (when organ donor is alive) and deceased donation (when organ donor is brain dead) are allowed. Set legal procedures are in place to curb unethical practices of organ trade. This might cause a little delay in transplant surgery. But there is no law or rule that can prevent you from donating an organ.

Are these reasons discouraging you from making a pledge?

Organ donation is as good as gifting a life. Make sure these myths around organ donation aren’t stopping you from making this momentous pledge.

  1. Fear of disfigurement – The organ removal surgery does not disfigure the dead body. Surgeons make sure that the deceased’s body is handed over in a perfectly normal conditions to the family.
  2. Cost of surgery – Organ donation is one of the very few donations that do not involve monetary aid. We understand that you might have spent a large sum for your loved one’s treatment, and lost them, and this might not be the best time for charity. But do not worry. You won’t have to pay a dime for the cost of surgery to remove organs from a diseased body. All costs of organ transplant surgery are handled by a recipient’s family or an organ transplant program.
  3. Only the rich and powerful will benefit – This is completely false. Organ donation waiting lists are made according to the severity of the illness, blood type, and time spent waiting in every hospital.
  4. Religious restrictions – The belief system, values of few religions in India obstruct people from making a pledge for organ donations. While it is true that different religions have different things to say about organ donation, isn’t humanity the best religion? Think about it.
  5. Is our patient really dead? On a life support system, the body of deceased stay warm to touch and the heart is beating. This makes it difficult for doctors to convince the family members to donate the organs of their relative. But in India, a panel of 4 doctors has to declare you brain dead before your organs can be harvested – this is done after a series of exhaustive tests.

Procedural hurdles:

The low rate of organ donation In India is compounded by bureaucratic hurdles.
According to existing rules, if the potential donor is not a relative of a patient, the transplant needs to be approved by a state-level committee or by a hospital committee that includes government officials. This is to make sure that no unethical trade is taking place. So even if you find a donor in your social circle, red-tapism and lengthy paperwork takes a long time to complete the procedure of organ donation in India.

Cost of transplantation:

After crossing all these procedural hurdles for obtaining an organ for transplantation, there still remains one big problem that obstructs a person from undergoing a transplant surgery – Cost of organ transplant surgery.

At present, private hospitals charge between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 30 lakh for a heart transplant, while for a kidney transplant the cost varies from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. In case of liver, the price ranges from Rs 15 lakh and Rs 35 lakh.

Not only making the arrangements for such a huge amount is an issue but also the fact that it has to be arranged urgently is a big problem. Once you are allotted an organ, hospitals cannot wait for surgery. Organs are perishable and need to be transplanted within few hours. You have to be in a position to make the complete payment. This rules out the possibility of funding surgery from loans and medical insurances. In a critical condition like this crowdfunding is a viable option to raise funds for your transplant surgery.

Online crowdfunding allows you to leverage the power of your social network. It is easy, quick and effective. All you have to do is start a fundraiser, tell your story to people, spread the world on social media platform and receive donations from your friends, family, colleagues and compassionate strangers. Do not become a statistic, fight back with every adverse situation while you still can.

Make a pledge today

The struggle to get organ transplantation in India is real. Do not let any false fear rule your mind.  You can save eight lives. Do not let go of this wonderful opportunity. Make a pledge today. Leave behind a legacy of life.

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