Jaipur, 17th February, 2021.

Emphasizing on the need to build awareness and a roadmap to overcome challenges towards Cadaver Donation, Institute of Medicine & Law (IML) today organized “MODE – Make Organ Donation Easy” and released a Whitepaper on Organ Donation. The event witnessed an intriguing panel discussion on the recommendations of the Whitepaper that addresses the gaps in the organ donation framework in India.

Experts from various fields included, Dr. Alok Jain, Nephrologist/Renal Specialist, CK Birla Hospital; Dr. Upasana Chaudhary, Faculty member at the PDU Government College; Dr Sandeep Gupta, Urology, Andrology and Kidney Transplant Surgery, Fortis Escorts Hospital; Dr. Shrikant Swami, Medical Director: Fortis Hopsitals, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Mumbai; Mrs. Bhavna Jagwani, Convenor, MFJCF; Mr. Samiir Halady, NGO Amar Gandhi Foundation; Mahendra kumar Bajpai, Advocate, Supreme Court of India & Hon. Director, Institute of Medicine & Law, along with patients.

The Whitepaper captures the deliberations of the 5th National Convention on Medicine & Law that emphasizes on various aspects of Cadaver Donation – from the challenges faced by doctors (grief counselling, alternative tests), caregivers & patients waiting for an organ, to the need for streamlining organ donation and transplantation activities at State &Central level. It also sheds light on the legal definition and government’s role in the cadaver donation process.

Addressing the medical aspect of the discussion Dr. Alok Jain, Director Nephrology and kidney transplantation, CK Birla Hospital said, we have had over 2000 – 2200 number of organ transplantation and 41 Deceased donations & (136 Organs) since 2016in Rajasthan. Looking to the number of chronic kidney disease patients in our state, we need to have more kidney transplant (live or deceased donor) and that can only be done by increasing awareness among people, healthcare professionals, and also having tremendous support from the state government to spread the knowledge and improve the services for organ procurement. The most important is to have awareness among people by negating their social taboos about organ donation”

Elaborating further Mr. Mahendrakumar Bajpai, Advocate, Supreme Court of India Standing Counsel, The Medlegal Attorneys Editor, Medical Law Cases – For Doctors, Hon. Director, Institute of Medicine & Law said, “The nation today needs a central law on uniform definition of death. Many countries are following the same as per WHO guidelines. The Registration of Birth and Death Act, which is currently in the process of getting amended, should include Brain-stem Death as a form of death. The socio-cultural preferences of the Indian society should be considered while defining the order of decision makers. The list should be comprehensive, and the order of preference should be clearly laid down. Additionally, to streamline the process a single authority for reporting, compliance and directions should be contemplated.”

Mrs. Bhavana Jagwani, Convenor, MFJCF said, “Organ donation is an opportunity for people to enrich their lives by extending it to a person who can live a healthy life. I believe there is a clear need to delink brain death from organ donation. Transplant of Human Organs defines brain death only for organ donation which causes problems where families do not agree with organ donation. Although the patient is brain dead the doctors are reluctant to switch off the ventilator and declare death.”

I suggest to legally and mandatorily associate reputed NGOs in organ donation programs/committees etc. for making a transparency in the system and creating faith among donors as well as recipients on processes of organ donation, added Mrs. Jagwani.

Dr. Upasana Chaudhary, Faculty member at the PDU Government College, said “With the increasing need for Organs, I believe there is a need to raise awareness to increase the current organ donation rate in the country. We believe in lot of myths which restrains people from organ donation. I have come across people who are aware of organ donation but do not know the process. it will be helpful if the required documentations are simplified and hopefully it will encourage more people to donate their organs. Also, I would request healthy individuals to step up for the cause. Their promise of organ donation after death can give life to eight people.”

The event also witnessed patients sharing their journeys from their ordeal of wait to their joy of receiving organ.

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