Organ Donation in India – Facts and Procedures
Learn more about the organ donation, myths & facts, and the procedure
Organ Donation is one of the noblest deeds one can do. Donation organs can save many lives after death, which indeed is the purest form of humanity. However, claiming one of the best cultures around worldwide, India Organ Donation rate is one of the lowest in the world. While Spain has a rate of 36 per million and USA has 26 per millions, India stands at 0.5 people per million. Considering the population of India, this is really a very low statistics. If the families of people who die in accidents are willing to donate the organs, India’s healthcare sector will reach heights.
In India 500,000 die of non-availability of organs. 1, 00,000 awaits for Liver transplant but 1000 receives one. Each of us can save up to 7 lives by registering for Organ Donation.
Main reasons why we are behind is lack of awareness, don’t understand the gravity of the situation and certain myths.
What is Organ Donation and who can donate?
Organ Donation is the harvesting of vital organs after the death of the donor. One can donate vital organs like Heart, Kidneys, Liver, Pancreas, and Lungs in case of brain death. Brain death is an irreversible situation where all brain functions had stopped and the vital organs may function for few more period with the support of equipment and medical facilities.
Other tissues like Cornea, heart valves, skin, bones etc. can be donated only in the case of natural death.
One can proceed with Organ Donation irrespective of age, gender, caste, community, medical conditions etc. But there are exclusions like HIV, Hepatitis B etc. A Hepatitis C patient can donate organs to one having the same. Most cancer patients can donate Cornea.
Burst some myths
Old people can’t donate:
It is not the age, but the physical fitness that matters. Old people can do Organ Donation according to their physical health.
The body will be disfigured:
No, the surgery won’t have any impact on the body. The family can do the funeral service as any other funeral service. They will have the opportunity to bid adieu to their dear one (Unless you are donating your body to medical college students for educational purpose or research purpose). The procedure might delay the funeral service.
Brain death is not final:
Yes, it is. Once a person is brain dead, he/she can’t come back to life. The heart survives at the support of a ventilator. The person will be physically dead few minutes after removing the ventilator.
Doctors may delay medical care:
No, The Doctors priority will be you. You will get the best medical care and treatments until your last breath. Even after, the organs are removed with utmost respect and care.
I can’t retreat from the decision:
Yes, you can! At any point in time, you or your immediate family can retreat from the decision (however, it won’t be of any good for anyone)
You have a chance to live after brain death:
No, brain death is an irrevocable process towards the end of life. Once brain death happens, nothing can bring back you to life.
Heart/brain transplants may change character:
This one seems a bit dramatic, but many do believe it. By transferring brain/heart, the receiver won’t get the features and memories of the donor.
None of the religions in India is against the idea of Organ Donation.
The procedure for Organ Donation
If you wish to donate your organs, you need to follow the procedure. Even if you don’t register, your family can consent the organ donation after death.
1.Register your name for Organ donation
You can download the consent form from the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) or can register in agencies like
After death, the lawful custodian of the body needs to sign the consent in a form.
2. Carry your donor card
After registration, take a print out of your donor card and carry it with you. The card is not a legal document but your consent and willingness for Organ Donation.
3. Talk to your family.
As already mentioned, they are the ones who need to give the final consent for Organ Donation. Due to many misunderstandings and myths, many refuse to provide the consent. Hence, it is important to talk to your family, close ones about your wish, and pursue them to fulfill the same.
4. A panel of four doctors examines and confirms the brain death in a period of 6 hours.
The panel consists of the Medical administrator of the hospital, authorized specialist, a neurologist/neurosurgeon and medical officer who treat the donor. After that, the organs are removed as soon as possible.
5. There are no fees charged for organ donation or surgery.
Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994 had made the selling of organs illegal. You can’t sell your organs for money but donate. There is a hefty penalty for both donor and recipient in case of case of money involvement. The 2009 amendment of act legalized the transfer of organs from a living person who is a close relative. If the organs of donor and recipient don’t match, they can swap the organs with such another pair.
Organ Donation is one of the best forms of humanity.
We should develop a sense of proud in donating organs. Apart from saving lives, the decease can live through others and the families should feel proud. If people come up to donate their organs, we can do miracles in the field of healthcare. The notion of Organ Donation is a way of showing our gratitude towards the society. So let’s overcome the bystander effect and take an initiative. Take your step forward in spreading awareness on Organ Donation and be one!
I hope this article helped you understand more about Organ Donation – Facts and procedures.
Indiana hospital and heart institute is one of the top healthcare centres in Mangalore, Karnataka. We offer live and diseased donor renal transplantation equipped with advanced technology and a mind of compassion. Our specialized departments with expert doctors are always at your service. Well trained paramedics team is available 24×7 for emergency services.