To those who refuse to donate organs citing religions reasons, Francis Delmonico, president-elect of the World Transplantation Society, asks, “Does you religion prevent you from being a recipient?”

With over 30 years' experience in Organ Transplantation, being among the few across the world to get into a fledgling area of specialisation back in the 80's, Dr. Delmonico has probably come across every conceivable issue/excuse/problem in the organ transplantation sector. And he has learnt to find convincing answers for almost every single issue.

His campaign is also aimed at “changing the world, which is so full of scandal of people having to sell their organs.” There is a need to keep organ transplantation above board, and ensure that people are not exploited for their organs.

In Chennai on a two-day visit, Dr. Delmonico also met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who made it clear that her government was determined to keep scandals out of the organ transplantation scenario.

Speaking at a meeting organised by MOHAN Foundation here in Chennai on Wednesday, he acknowledged however that the change had already begun, especially in Tamil Nadu. “ There was a great deal of enthusiasm and hard work that had been invested in the cadaveric transplant programme of the State, he added.

He accorded appreciation for the work being done by MOHAN Foundation and Tanker Foundation in helping people with end-stage organ failure.

Dr. Delmonico also stressed on the fact that the organs belonged essentially to the community. “No hospitals can ‘own' these organs,” he said.

It is also necessary for grief counsellors, and the people working in the organ transplant movement to be persistent in order to work out issues that might crop up including lack of awareness among family members, medical and paramedical professionals; police and legal officers, delays in transporting organs.

Speaking on the occasion, PWC Davidar, Managing Director, Salt Corporation, said a couple of years ago Tamil Nadu had neither systems nor the policy to conduct cadaver transplants. However, over the years, progress had been made.

R.Veena, MOHAN Foundation's Transplant co-ordinator at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital spoke,.

Dr. Delmonico also distributed certificates to those who had completed the transplant co-ordinator's course organised by MOHAN Foundation.

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