GUWAHATI, Sept 23 – Even as a few individuals come forward to pledge their organs for donation, the trend in Assam does not appear encouraging. Like some other parts of India, donors willing to pledge their body parts after their death are not many. Fewer bodies are received as promises made before death are not honoured by family members for different reasons.
“During my service in Gauhati Medical College Hospital over a long period, I’ve seen only a modest number of cadavers being donated,” said a retired professor. Authorities in major hospitals in Guwahati and Dibrugarh say organ donation is still not a popular choice for many, including those from the educated section of society.
The scene appears uninspiring because donated organs save lives, or improve the conditions of people with a range of ailments. In better known cases such as cornea transplant, a dead person can leave a living legacy for another person. In other cases, donation of some body parts can prolong the life of critically ill persons.
Lack of awareness about organ donation after death is cited as one of the main reasons behind the present situation. Groups like the Ellora Vigyan Mancha have campaigned and motivated people to pledge their organs and some people have responded to the call.
Isfaqur Rahman of the Mancha said that from 2004 onward, around 450 pledges have so far been received and 28 bodies have been donated. Among those who have pledged are a good number of female respondents. Rahman, who has campaigned for the spread of scientific temperament through the Mancha, stressed the need for more awareness about organ donation.
It is widely acknowledged that donation of the body, or body parts, is one of the most gracious acts that a person can do. But still, the practice is yet to be embraced by the common person.
There are also problems which would need decisions at the high levels. According to experts, problems with cadaver organ donation include legal, hospital, and government issues. Important ethical issues also have to be addressed before donation can be promoted in a major way.