Organ Donation in India – Process and Facts

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that the demand of organs is fairly high than its supply in India. Unfortunately, deaths due to unavailability of organs is increasing each year and therefore there is a massive need of people who take the bold initiative of donating their organs and make a difference in the lives of thousands of people waiting for lifesaving transplants.

There are various organisations in India which allow you to register as an Organ Donor and issue you a card which states your intentions for the same. There are some general steps which can be followed for one such organisation.

Firstly there are two ways in which organ donation can be done either by registering beforehand and pledging as an organ donor or by the consent of the family after death. 

You can either by your wish register yourself as an organ donor and specify which organs you would like to donate. Or else even if you have not registered as a donor after your death your family members can grant permission for the same. But the important thing here is that even in the first case your family members will be required to honor your wishes. If they refuse then even though you are a registered organ donor, the hospital will be forced to reject it.

Following are the key points for the registering process:

  • While submitting the form as an organ donor, two witnesses are required one of whom should compulsorily be an immediate family member to prove your consent while filling up the form.
  • The above mentioned form can be downloaded from many sources but it is advisable that it is done from some government or acclaimed body such as AIIMS or NOTTO.
  • There is no fees involved for signing up as a donor and the form is free of cost as well.
  • Once submitted you will be provided with an organ donor card with a unique registration number on it. You are advised to keep this at all times with you. 
  • It is also advised that you share your decision with your close family members so that they approve for it after the death since their consent is also mandatory as already stated.
  • After your death within certain time frame all the organs that need to be donated have to harvested in order for them to be alive
  • Now before the organ donation process you will have to be declared brain dead by a set of doctors twice in certain time frame and only after that the organs will be harvested.
  • For certain organs cardiac death is enough for harvesting but in most organs like kidney, liver etc. brain death is necessary.
  • There are specialized transplant teams which carry out all these activities and the dead body is not harmed in any way that it is not dignified to look at.
  • There are also certain scenarios where you can donate some of your organs to your family member even when you are alive.

Remember age does not matter, anyone can be an organ donor, although if you a minor consent from your guardians will be required and you can anytime withdraw yourself from the pledge of being an organ donor.

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