Minal and I have been thinking about Organ donation for some time now and it seems there are many people out there who believe that organ donation is not cut out for them. To be honest, I truly believe this is one such area which has not been extensively marketed and promoted in most countries to increase awareness. As is evident, Mayo Clinic states that Over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone are waiting for an organ transplant and most of them would not even receive a call about suitable organ donation. As per Mayo Clinic, it’s estimated that every day in the U.S. 20 patients die because of the lack of donor organs. Now if the situation is so bad in the US, think about a densely populated country like ours (India) in which the population problem and deaths due to the unavailability of donors are far more acute. As per organindia.org, the organ donation rate in a population of millions in India as of 2019 is 0.52 with only 715 deceased donors available. And the average count of body donors has been 727 over the 2014-2019 period. Now compare this to the total population of our country of 1.39billion and still counting. As per the Business Standard article published in 2019, roughly 5 lakh people die annually in India due to a lack of an organ donor but with less than one per million people opting to donate, the organ donation rate in the country is one of the lowest in the world. It is only overwhelming to see how the gap between the number of donors and the number of deaths happening due to the unavailability of donors is widening.
We all are generally worried about how the whole thing of organ/body donation works, would it affect the last rituals that need to be carried out and so on. But what I think or rather believe is that if I’m not alive should it really concern me what happens to the rituals or my next kin’s feelings post my death! Thinking about this spiritually, there’s nothing that I’m going to take along on D-day except for my deeds. And as far as being worried about what my next kin/kids are going to think about this, well, it is time we need to educate them on the need of the hour for organ/body donation and how to become better as a human.
It is important to know for all of us that when we donate there are many organs that can be donated post one’s death, even tissues can get donated. One can save as many as 75 lives when you donate an organ or a tissue after death.
There are many myths about organ donation like is it mandatory after I choose to become a donor post-death? The answer is no, it is one’s kin who will decide whether to donate your organs or not upon death. By undertaking a pledge, one only expresses a wish to become a donor and then it is you who needs to educate the kin about this future promise by discussing with them and telling them the need for humanity. Think about this, kids would be so excited to not just call their mums and dads superheroes while they are living but also when they are dead!!!
Another myth is that I cannot be a donor because I suffer from many diseases, or I’m too old for this! It is important to note that as per Mayo Clinic, there are very few medical conditions that automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation. And the pledge is not age-specific, it only expresses your intent after your death.
To summarize, Minal and I have decided to donate all our organs and body tissues after death and would certainly discuss the same with our daughter as we move along about the decision made by her super-hero parents 🙂
Here’s a snapshot of the confirmation I received for having created the pledge:
We’ll meet again soon, till then take care and stay safe!!!