Help someone live after your death, your one step can give someone life:Organ donation refers to the process of giving organs or tissues to a living recipient who requires a transplant. Organ donation is mostly done after death. However, certain organs can be donated even by a living donor.
The organs that are mostly used for the purpose of transplant include kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, intestines, lungs, bones and bone marrow. Each country follows its own procedure for organ donation. Here is a look at how different countries encourage and process organ donation.
Organ Donation Process – Opt In and Opt Out
While certain countries follow the organ donation opt-in procedure others have the opt-out procedure in place. Here is a look at the difference between these two processes of organ donation:
- Opt In System: In the opt-in system, people are required to proactively sign up for the donation of their organs after death.
- Opt Out System: Under this system, organ donation automatically occurs unless a person specifically makes a request to opt out before death.
Organ Donation in Different Countries
India follows the opt-in system when it comes to organ donation. Anyone who wishes to donate organs needs to fill a prescribed form available on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India’s website.
In order to control organ commerce and encourage donation after brain death, the government of India came up with the law, The Transplantation of Human Organs Act in the year 1994. This brought about a considerable change in terms of organ donation in the country.
Spain is known to be the world leader in organ donations. It follows the opt-out system for organ donation.
- United States
The need for organs in the United States is growing at a rapid pace. Though there has been a rise in the number of organ donors, however, the number of patients waiting for the organs has increased at a much higher rate. Organ donation in the United States is done only with the consent of the donor or their family. However, several organizations here are pushing for the opt-out organ donation.
- United Kingdom
Organ donation in the United Kingdom is voluntary. Individuals who want to donate their organs after death can register for the same.
This is the only country that has been able to overcome the shortage of transplant organs. It has a legal payment system for organ donation and is also the only country that has legalized organ trade.
Organ donation is quite low in Japan as compared to other western countries. This is mainly due to cultural reasons, distrust in western medicines and a controversial organ transplant that took place in 1968.
In Columbia, the ‘Law 1805’ passed in August 2016, introduced the opt-out policy for organ donation.
Chile opted for the opt-out policy for organ donation under the, ‘Law 20,413’ wherein all the citizens above the age of 18 years will donate organs unless they specifically deny it before death.
Most of the countries around the world suffer from low organ donor rate. The issue must be taken more seriously. Laws to increase the rate of organ donation must be put in place to encourage the same.