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Posted at: Jan 9, 2017, 2:00 AM; last updated: Jan 9, 2017, 2:00 AM (IST)

IMA to promote eye, organ donation

Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 8

To promote eye and organ donation in India, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), an NGO of allopathic doctors, has decided to launch a campaign at its branch and state levels. The campaign will be launched throughout the country under the banner “Puchna Mat Bhulo” to promote “mandatory required request”. It has urged all its members to request relatives or legal heirs in cases of routine death for donation of eyes (in case of death) and organs (in case of brain death).

As per the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014, any doctor in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a situation of brain stem death, in consultation with transplant coordinator (if available), shall ascertain from the next of kin or the legal heir of the body whether the dead person, while he was alive, had authorised for donation of his or her organs either by filling form 5 or in driving license. If yes, the doctor is duty bound to request the next of the kin or the legal heir to submit the aforesaid authorisation and sign the declaration/authorisation.

According to Dr KK Aggrawal, National President of the IMA, “Mandatory” or required request for donation of organs of patients dying in hospitals is likely to increase the rate of organ harvest and will alleviate the critical shortage of transplantable organs and the IMA policy is that in every death, the doctor should explore about corneal donation.

According to Dr DS Bhullar, former vice-president of the IMA, Punjab unit, and a senior forensic medicine expert at the Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital in Patiala needed 2 lakh donor eyes per year to take care of corneal blindness. One is able to collect only 25,000 donor eyes per year. For every 1,000 population, 7.89 persons die every year. If request is made for eye donation at the time of death and even if 1 per cent people of total deaths donate eyes, one will be able to cover the shortage.

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