Who Can Donate After Death?
Myths & Facts Decoded – Part II
What if I pledged to donate organs and my family refuses?
In most situations, families agree of donation if they knew that was their loved one’s only wish. If the family, or those closest to the person who has died, object to the donation when the person who has died has given their explicit permission, either by telling relatives, close friends or clinical staff, or by carrying a donor card, healthcare professionals will discuss the matter sensitively with them. They will be encouraged to accept the dead person’s wishes. However, if families still object, then donation process will not go further and donation will not materialize.
Can organs be donated after death at home?
No. it can only be removed when a person is declared as brain stem dead in the hospital and is immediately put on a ventilator and other life support systems. After death at home, only eyes and some tissues can be removed.
What will happen to my donated organs and tissues, How will they be distributed?
The Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Center (ZTCC) was formed as per the Maharashtra Govt. resolution to co-ordinate, monitor and supervise the Deceased Donor Organ Transplant program in Mumbai and its suburbs. We create a transplant registry and maintain computerized waiting list of recipients for each organ.
The ZTCC, Mumbai, maintains the computerized waiting list, blood group wise, for each organ like kidney, liver, heart and lung, as per the priority criteria given in the Maharashtra State guidelines. All the registered transplant hospitals send the information of the patients who require organ in the prescribed form for listing, For kidney, each patient is given priority score as per the govt. guidelines. The ZTCC does Organ Distribution as per the state priority criteria. When there is a brain death in a registered hospital, the ZTCC is informed. The first kidney goes to the donor hospital patient having the highest priority score in that blood group. The second kidney is offered to the patient on city waiting list as per the priority score. The liver is first offered to the patient listed in the super urgent category (this listing is done after the expert committee approval). If there is no patient from the same blood group on the hospital list, then the liver is offered to the city waiting list. The priority criteria for liver are blood group and date of registration.
Factors not considered when matching donors with recipients include race, gender and ability to pay. The above criteria for organ distribution are followed throughout the country be regional and national organ distribution organizations.
Will the donor family be charged for donating organs?
Costs associated with recovering and processing organ and tissues for transplant are never passed on to the donor family. The family may be expected to pay for medical expenses incurred before death is declared and for expenses involving funeral arrangements.
Will organ and tissue donation change the appearance of my body?
No, Donation does not disfigure the body or interfere with funeral arrangements.
Will the identity of the recipient be revealed to the donor family?
No, the identity of both the donor and recipient must remain confidential by law. Basic information is provided to both recipients and donor families after the transplant. If they wish to communicate, it is done anonymously through the recovery program and transplant center. Some families opt to meet, but both parties have to be in agreement to his.
Can rich or celebrities move up the waiting list more quickly?
Severity of illness, time spent waiting’ blood type and match potential are the factor that determine your place on the waiting list. A patient’s income, race or social status are never taken into account in the allocation process
Do religions support organ and tissue donation?
Most major religions support organ and tissue donation. Typically, religions view organ and tissue donation as acts of charity and goodwill.
Written By: Dr. Shruti Tapiawala (Consultant Nephrologist)