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Campaign to popularise organ donation

Special Correspondent

A programme will be held at Mani School tomorrow

COIMBATORE: City-based SPT Hospitals has that it would carry out a campaign to popularise donation of organs of persons declared as brain dead.

A programme to be held here on September 19 would serve as a platform for the launch of the campaign, Chairman and Chief Nephrologist of the hospital S.P. Thiagarajan told presspersons recently.

Organ donation was yet to become popular in India, unlike in the West. In the U.S., the eyes, kidneys, heart, lungs, pancreas and liver of 90 per cent of the accident cases were harvested after the victims were declared brain dead.

At least one lakh people died in road traffic accidents throughout the country in a year. But, most of the organs of the victims were not harvest for transplantation. This was because of the lack of awareness among the relatives of the deceased that even the dead could save the lives of many others through organ donation, Dr. Thiagarajan said.

The nephrologist also said that scores of people in the country were awaiting donor kidneys. But, only very few got the organ from live related donors (relatives). The demand-supply gap could be narrowed only with the help of kidneys from the brain dead accident cases.

Hospitals where the accident cases were declared brain dead knew of this option, but most of them feared allegations of abuse.

There had been instances of hospitals counselling the relatives to donate the organs of the brain dead patients. But, what held most of them back was the allegation that hospitals declared them brain dead only to force the option of donation on the relatives.

More awareness should be created among the people on the laws providing for the donation of the organs and also on how these prevented illegal and unethical attempts at declaring patients brain dead just to harvest organs.

Former Judge of the Supreme Court A.R. Lakshmanan and Convener of the Cadaver Transplantation Programme of the State Government J. Amalorpavanathan would speak at the programme to be held at Mani School.

Their address would be followed by a debate on the causes of kidney diseases, moderated by Solomon Pappaiah.

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