Soon, ‘organ-donor I-cards’ for govt staff, students

State government employees and college students will soon be given an option to pledge their organs on their identity cards.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published:May 6, 2015 2:53 am

State government employees and college students will soon be given an option to pledge their organs on their identity cards.

To boost the count of cadaver donors across the state, the state health department along with Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has come up with this noble idea of starting an organ donation pledge in their own backyard.

A cadaver donation takes place when a patient suffers a brain-stem death, in which while the heart continues to beat, the brain stops functioning. According to experts, a brain-dead patient can improve the quality of life of over 30 other people by donating possible tissues and organs like kidney, liver, eyes, skin, lungs, heart, bones and smaller tissues.

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In 2014, Mumbai’s Zonal Transplant Coordination Center recorded 41 cadaver donors. According to Dr Kempi Patil, Assistant Director at the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), India still lags behind in organ donations due to limited awareness and religious sentiments.

Dr Pravin Shingare, DMER director, said: “We are not making organ pledge mandatory as several people attach religious sentiments to it and such a move might generate anger. Only those officials, who voluntarily wish to donate their organs after their death, will be given the new identity card.”

According to the proposal, approved in principle by Health Minister Deepak Sawant, two sets of identity cards – one saying “I pledge to donate my organs” at the bottom of the card and another without the pledge – will be made available to all state government officials. The next step, according to Shingare, is to replicate the process across colleges.

According to Dr Gautam Ramakanthan, Director of transplant surgeries in Jupiter Hospital, in several countries citizens have a similar pledge on their driving license. While a similar move on driving license was initiated in Maharashtra with RTO’s help, the process was shelved midway. Shingare claimed that the process will be resumed soon.

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