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Need to create awareness about organ donation

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HYDERABAD: The proposed amendments to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994, tabled for approval in Parliament recently, promises to help scores of patients who are unable to undergo transplantation due to lack of donors. The amendments, if ratified will, to some extent, help spread awareness on transplantation, experts in the capital believe.

The amendment proposes to set up the much-awaited national registry of the recipients of organ transplants and a National Organ Retrieval, Banking and Transplantation Network.

By rough estimates, Hyderabad alone has 3,000 to 4,000 patients, waiting for kidney transplantation. A registry will help in finding out the exact position of demand and supply of organ transplantation in the State and also in the Country.

The amendment proposes to expand the term ‘near relatives’ to include grandparents and grandchildren in organ donation. “There is no use of this amendment because elderly should not donate organs. Doctors avoid taking organs from healthy kids. Apart from that, the other proposed changes are imaginative and will help the cause,” points out convener (AP), Mohan Foundation, K. Raghuram.

The changes also propose to create much-needed position of a ‘Transplant Coordinator’ in all the hospitals, which are registered for organ retrieval and transplantation. The new amendments also make it mandatory for all the NGOs working in the field of organ retrieval and transplantation to register with the authorities. “Awareness levels about organ transplantation is picking up slowly.

These amendments will make public and authorities to talk more about transplantation,” Dr. Raghuram points out. The new Act, if implemented, will also make it mandatory for ICU and medical staff of the hospital to request relatives of brain-dead patients for organ donation.

Protecting minors

“There are provisions in the proposed Act, like protecting minors from being exploited and stiffer penalties, which will strengthen the regulation process of organ transplantation.

Such provisions are always welcome,” felt senior kidney specialist and Principal of Gandhi Medical College Dr. Pradeep Deshpande.


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