To shed light on the beliefs and misunderstandings related to religion and cultural customs that prevent people from considering organ donation, the Nephrology Association of Karnataka (NAK) and State Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO) organised a seminar titled “A Gift Like No Other” in the city on March 16.
Participants at the seminar emphasized on the myths and superstitions surrounding organ donation while educating about the poor organ donation rate in India as compared to many other countries.
Highlighting the importance of spreading awareness about organ donation, former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said, “One of the most important acts of humanism is the desire to donate organs. I have seen families who received organs, and there is nothing like watching their joy. Donating an organ is holier than any other act in the world.”
Asserting that no religion prohibits organ donation, Belimutt seer Shivarudra Swamy said: “ We have a long history of organ donation since our ancient times. We have heard many stories and those stories must be an example that no religion prohibits organ donation. I hope we soon reach a position where all the organ recipients will be blessed with a second life.”
Nephrologist Ishthiaque Ahmed, NAK Convenor, said brain death is a state of irreversible and complete loss of all brain functions, resulting in the cessation of vital bodily functions. “When a person is declared brain dead in accordance with medical guidelines, they are considered deceased. However, the organs of a brain-dead person can still be maintained through life-support systems, allowing for successful transplantation to save the lives of up to eight people and benefit up to 50 others,” he said.
“By donating organs after brain death, a person can leave behind a legacy of hope and give the gift of life to those in need. But this is not happening much in the country due to prevalent religious beliefs that discourage people from coming forward as donors,” he added.
State Health Commissioner Randeep D and several doctors, including Devi Shetty, Sudarshan Ballal and Taha Mateen, also spoke at the seminar.