In some European countries everyone is considered a potential organ donor. In New Zealand everyone taking a driver's licence is asked to give their preference about being an organ donor, said Mamatha, daughter of late poet Vegunta Mohan Prasad.

Addressing the media at the inauguration of the Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network (MOHAN) information centre here on Sunday, Ms. Mamatha said that it was very difficult for the kin of persons who have been declared ‘brain dead' to think about organ donation. Sharing her own experience Ms. Mamatha said that but for support from her relatives she could not have taken a decision about donating the organs of her father Mohan Prasad who was declared ‘brain dead' about three months ago. “This decision should preferably be taken by all in advance instead of at the last moment,” she said. A kidney recipient K. Anuradha, a chartered account from Guntur, narrated to the media how MOHAN Foundation had given her a new lease in life. Both her kidneys were damaged because she did not know that she had hypertension when she was in her late 20s. Her life was hell until she got a kidney through MOHAN Foundation and today she was able to live a normal life.

The MOHAN Foundation country director Lalitha Raghuram said that an information centre was opened in Guntur recently and another was opened in Vijayawada today. She said that after the enactment of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act in 1994 it was punishable by law to buy or sell organs.

She said that MOHAN Foundation was not concerned with live relatives making organ donations. This was possible only in the case of kidneys because a person needed only one kidney to lead a healthy life. But MOHAN Foundation was concerned with the harvesting of organs from people who were declared brain dead.

“Brain death' was clearly defined in the Transplantation Act. Brain death should not be confused with coma—because in the former there was no brain activity at all, she said. The body and organs of brain dead persons were functioning only because of the ventilator and other support systems. Nine people can get a new lease of life from the organs taken out of one person. The foundation wants to establish information centres in every district, she said.

The MOHAN Foundation volunteer K. Madhavi said that the information centre would be located in the Storm Educational Consultancy office, above Spice Inn restaurant, on Tikkle Road. Those interested in information can call landline 9247099548 during office hours (9.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.) and mobile number 9490690758 during the rest of the day.