January 29, 2021 1:10:50 pm
Emphasising on the need to spread awareness and develop a roadmap to overcome challenges towards cadaver donation, the Institute of Medicine and Law (IML) released a whitepaper that addresses the gaps in the organ donation framework in India.
Speaking at the event titled ‘National MedLegal Awareness Campaign on Organ Donation’, Dr Sunil Yashwant Jawale from Jehangir Hospital said, “The need to increase awareness on organ donation is the need of the hour. This does not limit to the public but also amongst medical and para medical practitioners. We have had over 87 number of organ transplants and 41 cadaver donations in 2020 in Pune.”
He said a lot of doctors restrain themselves from getting involved in organ donation due to legal issues. “This shows a need for law to protect the doctors who make decisions and take required actions in good faith. Moreover, to facilitate faster procedures, the need to look at alternatives and ancillary tests to apnea test to be statutorily recognized,” he added.
The campaign emphasised on various aspects of cadaver donation – from the challenges faced by doctors (grief counselling, alternative tests), caregivers and patients waiting for an organ, to the need for streamlining organ donation and transplantation activities at state and central level. It also shed light on the legal definition and government’s role in the cadaver donation process.
Elaborating further, Mahendrakumar Bajpai, advocate at Supreme Court, said the country needs a central law on uniform definition of death. “Many countries are following the same as per WHO. The Registration of Birth and Death Act, which is currently in the process of getting amended, should include brain-stem death as a form of death. The socio-cultural preferences of the Indian society should be considered while defining the order of decision makers,” he said.
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