Cadaver organ donation

Organs of one person can be donated to 27 persons

Editorial November 30, 2018

Considering the low awareness of the significance of cadaver organ donation in Pakistan, it is admirable that the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services passed a bill yesterday that will pave the way for people to donate organs and save precious human lives. Titled The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the proposed law was moved by Mian Mohammad Atique Sheikh, who is also the chairman of the standing committee. It suggests CNICs should indicate if a person is an organ donor. He said a campaign has been launched to convince people to donate organs but there is no law for it which is why doctors hesitate to remove organs from deceased persons even if they left a will to this effect. He said he has suggested that CNICs should carry a red mark if someone is an organ donor. This will facilitate doctors to remove deceased persons’ organs in case of natural death and deaths in accidents. A representative of the Human Organ Transplant Authority has said a government bill was also being drafted that also suggests mentioning on CNICs and driving licences if a person is an organ donor.

Organs of one person can be donated to 27 persons if one agrees for their organs to be donated after death. What is needed is a vigorous campaign to raise awareness as there is little public awareness of this vitally important issue in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka has earned respect as the world’s largest eye cornea donor. Eminent social worker Adul Sattar Edhi had donated his corneas before he died in 2016. The example set by Maulana Edhi led many people to donate their corneas after their death. Since in Pakistan on average 30,000 people die of renal failure and 100,000 of liver failure a year, cadaver organ donation assumes utmost importance.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2018.

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