Status Of Organ Donation In India
Organ donation in India is at an all-time low, with more than 10 lakh people waiting for corneal
transplants, 50,000 people waiting for heart transplants, and 20,000 people waiting for lung
transplants, according to the World Health Organization. In light of the fact that a single organ donor
may save up to nine lives by donating up to 25 different organs to persons in need, this is particularly
tragic. The number of people on transplant waiting lists in India is growing by the day.
According to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) of 1994, organ donation is
permissible in India, and the concept of 'brain death,' defined as the full cessation of all brain
functions, is lawful. Despite the fact that a person cannot sustain life after being declared brain
dead, critical physiological functions can be preserved in an intensive care unit. Acutely ill individuals
are kept on artificial life support in order to keep their organs functioning properly.
It is important to distinguish brain death from coma, which is a prolonged state of unconsciousness
in which the brain continues to function without aid. If there is some movement in the brain, a
person will not be proclaimed brain dead.
In India, before organs may be harvested, a panel of four physicians - a medical administrator, an
approved specialist, a neurologist, and the doctor who is currently treating the patient - must
unanimously declare the person brain dead before the organs can be harvested. Following that, a
battery of tests is performed to determine whether or not the patient has died from brain death.
An intensive care unit (ICU) is required for the diagnosis of a brain dead donor because it has the
capacity to maintain the patient's other organ systems functioning. However, there is a scarcity of
such intensive care units, which are mostly located in big cities. These organisations are already
overworked and underfunded, and they lack a centralised command structure to guide them. In this
case, there is a dying patient on the one hand, and a patient who has already died but requires
specific care in order to effectively extract bodily organs from the corpse on the other hand. As a
result of this situation, medical professionals intuitively place a lesser priority on the brain-dead
patient's condition. Finding consent (informed consent) from one's family members can be a
challenging procedure. Some doctors may not be adequately motivated to gain such approval from
the families who will be involved in their treatment. Alternatively, patients who are not related to
each other or who are not present at the time of the diagnosis of brain death may be considered.
Despite the fact that the Act allows the medical practitioner the authority to remove organs for
donation if the corpse is not claimed by the deceased's family within 48 hours after death, the
practise is not common. If the person's family is discovered after the time limit has expired and they
object to the act, it might become a huge issue in the future. Furthermore, organ donation is not a
decision made by a single relative, and it may be necessary to persuade the entire family, resulting in
the loss of important time for the patient. Transplantation is a time-consuming and expensive
process for which the government does not provide financial assistance. According to studies, the
private sector is responsible for the most bulk of deceased contributions. Furthermore, a large
number of contributors and recipients come from private institutions. This creates an imbalance in
terms of accessibility for all people, regardless of their ability to pay, because the vast majority of
organs are now going to the rich, while the poor do not have access to the same resources.