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World Organ Donation Day - Too Old Or Sick To Donate Organs?

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 12, Aug 2023, 16:22 pm IST | UPDATED: 12, Aug 2023, 16:24 pm IST

World Organ Donation Day - Too Old Or Sick To Donate Organs? World Organ Donation Day is observed on August 13 every year. The main aim of this day is to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation in saving lives and also to encourage people to donate organs. Organ donation plays a very important role in saving the lives of people who are suffering from organ failure or other serious medical conditions. The day also honours the donors and their families for their contributions that can bring hope to the lives of people. Dr Punit Singla, Director & HOD, Liver Transplant & HPB Surgery at Marengo Asia Hospitals, Faridabad & Gurugram, shares, "Organ donation has the potential to transform and save lives while promoting compassion and unity in society. It is a remarkable gift that carries an immense positive impact on individuals and communities alike." Dr Singla goes on to debunk 10 myths about organ donation. 

Dr Punit Singla addresses 10 misconceptions that people often about organ donation and debunks the myths. Check below:

1. Myth: Doctors won't try as hard to save my life if they know I'm an organ donor.
Reality: The primary duty of medical professionals is to save lives. Being an organ donor doesn't affect the quality of care you receive.

2. Myth: Organ donation is against my religion.
Reality: Organ donation is supported by most major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Consult with religious leaders to clarify any concerns.

3. Myth: Wealthy individuals can jump ahead on the waiting list for organs.
Reality: The organ allocation process in most countries is based on factors like medical urgency, compatibility, and how long someone has been waiting. Wealth or status doesn't influence priority.

4. Myth: I'm too old to donate organs.
Reality: Age isn't a determinant for organ donation. Medical suitability for donation is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and potential donors of all ages are considered.

5. Myth: I'm not in perfect health, so I can't be an organ donor.
Reality: Various medical conditions don't automatically exclude you from becoming an organ donor. Healthcare professionals will evaluate each case to determine the suitability of organs for transplantation.

6. Myth: Organ donation disfigures the body, making it difficult for an open-casket funeral.
Reality: Organ donation is conducted with the utmost care, and the body is surgically closed afterward. Funeral arrangements can still include an open-casket viewing.

7. Myth: My family will need to pay for the organ donation process.
Reality: The cost of organ procurement is covered by the transplantation organization or hospital. The donor's family is not responsible for any expenses related to the donation.

8. Myth: Organ donation might allow doctors to declare me dead prematurely.
Reality: Multiple tests are performed to ensure a person is truly deceased before the organ retrieval process begins. Medical ethics and legal requirements prevent any possibility of premature declarations.

9. Myth: My organs will be sold on the black market.
Reality: Organ transplantation is strictly regulated and legal. Organisations responsible for allocation and transplantation follow rigorous protocols to prevent unauthorized organ sales.

10. Myth: I can donate and specify my organ donation to my friends or family or specify as per my choice.
Reality: You cannot specify whether you want to donate organs to strangers or limit your donation to friends and family members by expressing your wishes to your transplant organisation or through legal documents. In India, organ donation and transplant follows a strict protocol and only National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation(NOTTO) / Regional cum State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO-SOTTO) approve the transplantation and accepts the donation.

"Remember, organ donation is a personal decision. Gathering accurate information allows you to make an informed choice about becoming an organ donor," says Dr Punit Singla.

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