Published online: August 8, 2018
Justice, equity and organ donation: A right or a wish?
We commend the article titled “Ethics of organ transplantation” by Sanjay Nagral (1) for raising awareness about organ donation, especially kidney transplants, and shedding light on the Indian scenario. In this article, the author mentions that “If we wish to improve upon the current situation, the first step is total transparency on the part of the medical profession and open, public, debate on this and related issues.” (1)
It is indeed no exaggeration to say that we still need education and awareness about organ donation. Our primary interest regarding organ donation is to ensure that the process fulfils the ideals of the medical profession: integrity, honesty and truthfulness in practice and communications with patients and families (2). We wish to add our bit to the continuing discussion on organ transplantation in this journal, with the following suggestions –
- Forms for voluntary registration as organ donor should be made available at all government offices for driving licence, Aadhar card and passport registration, at government and private banks, at hospital OPDs and IPDs etc. A counselor can be appointed at all these facilities along with Suvidha centre employees to be trained with a short audio-visual course. These places should carry advertisements with comprehensive step-by-step guides. Volunteers can be trained and appointed as well. All this will help answer people’s queries regarding organ donation and increase awareness.
- A comprehensive health insurance scheme exclusively for organ donors as follows: health cover for all those who pledge their organs, including a government sponsored scheme which covers cost of screening, hospitalisation, complications during surgery and pharmaceutical expenses, in case a registered donor becomes a recipient. This will motivate organ donation and highlight the need for and benefits of organ donation in such a way that it relates to specific individuals and encourages empathy (3).
- Finally, we suggest, a tracking system for the organs being pledged and donated in the form of an app that has a database of all potential donors. This app can be used to notify donors when an organ is successfully transplanted, upload success stories of recipients and provide information / responses to FAQs in the form of videos.
Annie Singh (Corresponding author – [email protected]), Final year MBBS student, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Sadiq Road, Faridkot, Punjab, 151203; Mannat Kaur Bhatia ([email protected]) Final year MBBS student, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Sadiq Road, Faridkot, Punjab, 151203; Ripudaman Singh ([email protected]) Final year MBBS student, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Sadiq Road, Faridkot, Punjab, 151203; Jayksh Chhabra ([email protected]) Final year MBBS student, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Sadiq Road, Faridkot, Punjab, 151203
- Nagral S. Ethics Of Organ Transplantation. Indian J Med Ethics 1995; 3(2):19.
- Rady MY, McGregor JL, Verheijde JL. Transparency and accountability in mass media campaigns about organ donation: A response to Morgan and Feeley. Med Health Care Philos. 2013 Nov; 16(4): 869-76. doi: 10.1007/s11019-013-9466-4.
- Moorlock G, Draper H. Empathy, social media, and directed altruistic living organ donation. Bioethics. 2018;32(5):289-297. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12438