Published On: Tue, Feb 23rd, 2021

Be the unsung hero be someone’s life once again, be an organ donor: Experts urge

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Bangalore, 23rd February 2021: Eminent doctors and experts in Bangalore emphasized on the need to build awareness and a roadmap to overcome challenges towards Cadaver Donation in Bangalore today in the “MODE – Make Organ Donation Easy” panel discussion organized by Institute of Medicine & Law (IML).

A Whitepaper on Organ Donation too was released. 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 including Mahendra Kumar Bajpai, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Hon. Director, Institute of Medicine & Law; Mr. Deepak Jumani, Director – Awareness Drives, Gift your Organ; Dr. Sunil Shenvi, Consultant Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery and Multiorgan Transplantation; Dr. Kishore Phadke, Convener, Jeevasarthakathe – Nephrologist; Dr. M. Kirankumar, Joint Director (Medical), Jeevasarthakathe; Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka; Mr. Aravind, Secretary of the Nagarbhavi Division of Rotary Club Abilities Bangalore along with patients. Additionally, Dr. Bhagwat Karad, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; and Justice Ravi Tripathi – Chairman: Gujarat State Human Rights Commission; Former Judge-Gujarat High Court shared their thoughts.

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. Sunil Shenvi, senior Consultant Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery and Multiorgan Transplantation said, “We have had over 200 liver transplants, more than 10 simultaneous kidney & liver transplantations and 122 Cadaver donations since 11 years in our hospital at Bangalore. According to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, routine declaration of brain-dead patients is not being practiced. If all hospitals take initiative and declare it at the right time and make the right decisions, it can save many lives. To increase the number of organ donations further, awareness is the key. To achieve this, we need to increase awareness not just amongst public but also amongst Medical and para medical practitioner.”

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.”

“At Gift your Organ, we have been trying to create 360-degree awareness of organ donation across cities since many years. In my experience as a first step, to make India self-sufficient for organ donation, the statutory processes and procedures should be simpler and easily implementable along with appropriate grief counselling. Furthermore, it is important that people understand the importance of organ donations which the only hope is to survive for organ failure patients will benefit the society at large. The grieving family also experience a profound sense of comfort knowing the tragedy of lose resulted in life in many others.” added Mr. Deepak Jumani, Director – Awareness Drives, Gift your Organ.

Dr. Kishore Phadke, Convener, Jeevasarthakathe said, “We’ve taken various initiatives in Bangalore to train counselors and healthcare professionals and feel there is still a need to raise awareness to increase the current organ donation rate in the country. To enhance it further, awareness is key as I believe it brings out the clear difference between Brain death and Coma should be created to encourage more families to come forward and donate.”

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

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