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Extending a Life by an Organ
2017-07-20 19:20:38
Liza Tan

“Where did I go wrong?

I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life.”

The previous lines were taken from The Fray’s hit “How to Save a Life.”

Indeed, the desire to save a life is considered a noble act especially in the field of medicine.

Surgeries, therapies, and medicines are some of the ways that people can utilize to save a life, yet there is another method that people can rely on, which is organ donation.

Yes, a deceased person’s body organ can extend and bring a new lease of life to a recipient that seeks to prolong his/her earthly life.This can be compared to a procedure where mechanics place a new engine and battery to the vehicle to bring it back to life.

Noteworthy Donations

On December 23, 1954, Ronald Lee Hendrick donated his kidney to Richard, his identical twin, with the help of Dr.Joseph Murray.The operation’s success had kept Richard alive for eight years, helped Dr.Murray secure a Nobel Prize, and proved that transplants are possible.Dr.Murray went on to perform 18 transplants between identical twins.

The operation was a revolution in itself as successful kidney transplant operations begin to increase, while the transplant of other organs followed after.

Decades after the successful transplant operation, Teddy Houlston became UK’s youngest organ donor as his kidneys were donated to an adult patient suffering from renal failure after the baby lived for only 100 minutes.

In Scotland, a 107-year-old woman becomes the oldest donor by donating her corneas after her death.

The Act

In 1994, India established The Transplantation of Human Organs Act.

The act’s first chapter relays that its purpose was to govern the removal, storage, and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.

The second chapter talks about the authority for the removal of any organs.Here, the donor or his relative who has possession of his body can grant authority to remove his organs before his demise.

The third chapter presents the hospital regulations.Hospitals not registered in the act should conduct or help in a transplant procedure, while a medical practitioner or any other person is also prohibited from conducting the procedure in a place not registered under the act.The act also prohibits the donor and/ or the person to authorize the removal of organs for different intentions other than therapeutic purposes.And lastly, no registered medical practitioner should perform the operation without talking about the possible effects, complications, and hazards connected with the removal and transplantation to the donor and the recipient respectively.

Chapter Four talks about the appropriate authorities that should be involved with the procedure.Here, both Central and State Governments must appoint, by notification, one or more officers as “Appropriate Authorities.”

Chapter Five covers the registration of hospitals.The chapter states that no hospital shall begin any activity relating to the removal, storage or transplantation of any human organ for therapeutic purposes after the Act’s commencement unless such hospital is duly registered.Hospitals shall apply for registration within 60 days from the date of such commencement.A hospital will only be registered if the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that the hospital is in a position to provide special services and facilities, and possesses skilled manpower and equipment.Upon passing the requirements the said authority will award a certificate of registration.The authority has also the right to explain the reason for suspending or canceling the certificate.

Chapter Six provides a list of offenses to the act and its corresponding penalties, while Chapter Seven serves some miscellaneous information that authorities must consider.

The Story Thus Far

According to the U.S.Department of Health & Human Services website, 117,136 people need a life-saving organ transplant, and 75,628 people are active waiting list candidates.There are also 17,155 organ transplants conducted this year, and there are 8,099 donors as of June 2017.

The site also notes that someone is added to the national transplant waiting list every ten minutes, and adds that 92 transplants take place each day in the U.S.It also informs potential donors that an organ donor can save eight lives.

The site also presents a graph to address the ongoing organ shortage, amid the progress in medicine and technology and the heightened awareness of organ donation and transplantation.It also encourages that more progress is required to guarantee that all candidates have the potential to receive a transplant.

Thanks to the “The Transplantation of Human Organs Act” in 1994, India has brought about an important transformation in the organ donation and transplantation scene.Numerous states have absorbed the law, and 2011 saw the law’s further implementation.

Additional references:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_donation#India

http://www.12news.com/news/nation-now/107yearold-becomes-scotlands-oldest-organ-donor/264713183

https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov


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