People die in Goa while organ transplant act not implemented

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 24 February 2015 23:36 IST

Dr Amol Mhaldar speaking at 5th Samajik Parishad in Margao

Twenty years Goa has been sleeping over an existing act of organ transplantation while thousands of people are dying for want of crucial organs like liver and kidney.

The fifth Samajik Parishad, consisting of doctors, professionals and social activists, has thus urged Goa government to implement the 20-year old Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994 to facilitate human organ transplantation.

Around 200 people have already come forward to donate post-death either their whole body or eye and other organs, at the convention held in Margao on Sunday, 22 February 2015.

Interestingly, Goa is one of the pioneering state due to whose initiative the Indian Parliament had passed this legislation two decades ago.

“But the systems are not in place in Goa. The result is thus that no organ is getting transplanted in Goa after a person is declared brain-dead”, says Dr Amol Mhaldar, a nephrologist.

The only donation taking place in Goa is eye donation, that too at the initiative of Rotary Club of Panaji, which started an Eye Bank in the state in 2006.

“However, only 19 eye transplants have taken place since then,” informs Vijay Priolkar, a dedicated Rotarian, who conceptualised the eye bank and still promoting it vigorously.

The Rotary Clubs of Goa have mobilised 2500 donors till now, but most of them are children or youth.

“India has 12 million blind people, adding 30,000 every year. However, only 15,000 eyes are collected every year while 15 lakh eyes get burnt in cremation”, he said.

While anybody can donate eyes within six hours after death, donation of other organs like heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, thymus need to be retrieved while the brain is dead and heart is beating.

“While 1.5 lakh people suffer with kidney disease nationally, it is not less than 12,000 in Goa. So far only 10 living transplants have been made in Goa, not a single one after death”, informed Dr Mhaldar.

Similar is the case with liver transplants, states Dr Vinay Kumaran, in-charge of organ transplant cell of Kokilabai Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai.

According to him, liver donation is hardly 10 per cent while the requirement is almost two lakh a year.

 

Most of the people at the Samajik Parishad had volunteered for body donation. But Dr Madhu Ghodkirekar, assistant professor of Forensic department of GMC, said organ donation was more important.

“Almost 28 bodies are lying in GMC right now. Actually Ayurvedic and Homeopathy colleges need it more than the GMC”, he said, while speaking in personal capacity as a doctor.

He also said that the Anatomy Act of Goa needs to be amended on the lines of the act of Mumbai, to ease voluntary donation. He however clarified that the GMC authorities accept body donations without any hesitation.

What is however required for organ donation, which can actually save lives in Goa as well as in India, in order to implement the existing act?

As Dr Mhaldar states:

Each ICU in government as well as private hospital needs a designated committee to declare that the patient is brain-dead.

Goa requires cross-men’s laboratory where blood groups of brain-dead person and the patient requiring the organ could be matched without wasting time.

A registry needs to be prepared to decide who actually requires these organs.

A committee needs to be set up so that the criteria to donate organs are followed strictly on merit basis without any kind of manipulation.

Expertise and sensitisation of doctors needs to be improved while public awareness is needed to come forward to donate organs by accepting the fact that the patient is brain-dead and organs could be donated before the heart stops.

“We need to save more and more lives by donating our organs when we are brain-dead”, all the doctors told the Samajik Parishad. 

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- max hospital, pune | 06 th May 2016 14:26

 

I live in US and over here, they way it has been implemented is by asking the person during the issuance of the drivers licence. If the person accepts that he or she wants to be a organ donor then it is printed on the Drivers Licence.

If the person dies in a road accident, then the process of donating the organs becomes easier and much smoother.

I think the Goa Government should implement this policy.

- Sanesh Prabhudesai, USA | 25 th February 2015 21:34

 

Somehow, the concept of organ donation has not caught up in Goa, may be due to legal difficulties, regressive attitude of general populace or otherwise. It is a sorry state of affairs. Look at what is happening in the western world where organ donation is a way of life (I mean after death).

There is no other ‘daan’ or ‘giving’ as ‘pavitra’ or ‘sacred’ as organ donation, because, it gives the sick another chance to live on, to enjoy this beautiful life further. Therefore, people please sign up, donate your organs (after death). Let us hope the sleeping gorment will wake up to take up the issue on enacting proper legislation expediently.

- Sandesh, Mumbai | 25 th February 2015 02:39

 

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