Organ Donation FAQS
1. What is an organ ?
An organ is a part of the body that performs a specific function: like your Heart, Lungs, Kidney, Liver etc.
2.Can a person, without a family, register for pledge?
Yes, you can pledge, but you need to preferably inform the person closest to you in life, a friend of long standing or a close colleague, about your decision of pledging. To fulfill your donation wishes, healthcare professionals will need to speak to someone else at the time of your death for the consent.
3.How can I be a Donor, What is the process to take donor pledge?
You can be a donor by expressing your wish in the authorized organ and tissue donation form (Form-7 As per THOA). You may pledge to donate your organs by signing up with our website www.notto.nic.in and register yourself as donor or for offline registration you may download Form 7 from our website. You are requested to fill the form 7 and send signed copy to NOTTO at below mentioned address:
NATIONAL ORGAN AND TISSUE TRANSPLANT ORGANISATION
4th Floor, NIOP Building, Safdarjung Hospital Campus, New Delhi-110029
4.The people who have pledged for Organ donation in life, will they definitely become organ donors?
No, Only few people die in the circumstances where they are able to donate their organs. That is the reason we need people to take pledge for Organ Donation and registered them self as potential Donor.
5.Can I be an organ donor, if I have been rejected to donate blood?
Yes, The decision about whether some or all organs or tissue are suitable for transplant is always made by a specialist, taking into account your medical history. There may be specific reasons why it has not been possible to donate blood, such as having anemia or had a blood transfusion or had hepatitis in the past or there may be reasons why you could not donate blood because of your health at the time – sometimes a simple thing like a cold or medication that you are taking can prevent you from donating blood.
6.How can I help in increasing organ donation?
You can help by:
- Becoming a donor, and talking to your family about your decision of saving lives of others.
- Promoting donation by motivating people at work place, in your community, at your place of worship, and in your civic organizations.
1.What is Transplantation?
Transplantation is the act of surgical removal of an organ from one person and placing it into another person. Transplantation is needed when the recipient’s organ has failed or has been damaged due to illness or injury.
2. Is there any insurance cover for organ transplant costs?
Till few years back, transplant cost both for donor as well as recipient was not covered by most of the insurance companies. Now a day many insurance companies are covering cost related to transplant. It will be better to be sure when you are going for insurance.
3. Is there any age limit to be registered for transplant?
Yes, patient should be fit for transplant and age is one of the criteria for assessing fitness of patient for transplant.
4. How long it will take to get a cadaver’s organ?
There is no time line on how long one will have to wait for an organ that the individual requires. This depends on his/her medical situation and how frequently organs are becoming available in a city or state.
5. Do I have option other than organ transplant?
This query can only be answered by the treating doctor depending upon medical condition and stage of damage of the organ. For example in a case of kidney failure, dialysis is an alternative treatment and for kidney failure patient transplant is usually not an emergency. Also, for a heart failure patient, some patients can be maintained on artificial cardiac assistive devices. Similarly for other organs criterias are different, that can be maintained on medical therapies for the time being.
6.If I get a call for transplant, will I definitely get the organ?
No, getting a call for transplant does not mean that you will definitely receive an organ. The transplant team will examine your immediate fitness for transplant. There is possibility that the tests done just before possible transplant may not be normal to make you fit for transplant. Further, more than one patient is called for possible transplant and it may be a chance that someone else will be more fit than you for that particular organ transplant.
1.What is living donor organ donation?
Means a person during his life can donate one kidney (one kidney is capable for maintaining the body functions), a portion of pancreas (half of the pancreas is adequate for sustaining pancreatic functions) and a part of the liver (the segments of liver will regenerate after a period of time).
2.Can I donate organ while I am still alive?
Yes, but not all organs and tissues, only few organs can be donated during life. The most common organ donated by a living person is a kidney as a healthy person can lead a completely normal life with only one functional kidney. Kidneys transplanted from living donors have a better chance of long-term survival than those transplanted from deceased donor. Nearly 90% of all kidney transplants currently in India are from living donor.
In addition to kidney, part of a liver can be transplanted and it may also be possible to donate a segment of a lung and, in a very small number of cases, part of the small bowel. For all forms of living donor transplants the risk to the donor must be considered very carefully. Before a living donor transplant can go ahead there are strict regulations to meet and a thorough process of assessment and discussion.
3.What are the different types of living organ donation?
Living Near Related Donors: Only immediate blood relations are accepted usually as donors viz., parents, siblings, children, grandparents and grand children (THOA Rules 2014). Spouse is also accepted as a living donor in the category of near relative and is permitted to be a donor.
Living Non- near relative Donors: are other than near relative of recipient or patient. They can donate only for the reason of affection and attachment towards the recipient or for any other special reason.
SWAP Donors: In those cases where the living near-relative donor is incompatible with the recipient, provision for swapping of donors between two such pairs exists, when donor of first pair matches with the second recipient and donor of second pair matches with the first recipient This is permissible only for near relatives as donors.
4.Is there age limit for living donor?
Yes, there is some age-limit for living organ donation. Living donation should be done after 18 year of age.
5.What is Swap donation?
Sometimes in the family, there is a potential related donor who is otherwise willing but due to blood group mis-matching criteria or due to some other medical reasons is not fit to donate organ to that particular recipient in family. Further, in another family similar situation exists. However, in these two families, donor of one family may become medically fit for recipient of other family and vice versa. These two families then make a pair and make organ transplant possible for these two recipients of different families. This is called ҳwap donationҠtransplantation. Swap transplant is legally permitted in THOA (Amended) act 2012.
6.Will I become medically unfit after organ donation?
No, It is basic principle of living donation program that person remains absolutely healthy for the rest of his/her life after donation. Thus, donor is not medically unfit for any purpose. However, in certain situation, living organ donor is treated differently. Like in the Armed Forces, an organ donor is not taken as normal and donor faces issues related to Promotion in job etc.
7.Is it possible to receive organs from a friend or other than near relative?
As per Transplantation of Human Organ Act, any living person other than near relative can also donate organ for the reason of affection and attachment towards recipient or for any other special reason. Such cases have to be approved by the Authorization Committee of the Hospital, where the transplant is going to take place. Approval of authorization Committee is mandatory in all other than cases involving relatives.
If such authorization committee is not existing in the Hospital then it can be approved by the respective district or state level Authorization committee of the district (or state, if no committee at district level), where the transplant hospital is located.
1.What Organs and Tissues can a Deceased donor donate?
If different organs and tissues are in medically fit conditions, following organs and tissues can be donated:
|Two kidneys||Two corneas|
|Two lungs||Cartilage / Ligaments|
2.What are the reasons for time delays in deceased organ donation?
Confirmatory tests for brain death have to be done twice within an interval of six hours between the tests. Once consent for organ donation has been obtained, coordinating the process of organ retrieval takes time.
Organ retrieval from deceased donors involves many hospitals , and transplant teams should ensure that the donated organs match as perfectly as possible with the recipient. If it is a medico-legal case, a post-mortem has to be performed and this involves both the police as well as the Forensic Medicine department.
3. If my family refused cadaver organ donation, will my treatment be affected?
No. Even though your family refuses for organ donation, the treatment will be carried out as per the clinical condition. Organ donation process is never linked with your appropriate treatment.
These two are separate entities. A completely different team work, for donation. Also, doctors involved in transplant operation are never involved in the donation process from the family of potential donor.
4.Can I be sure doctors will try to save me if I am registered as a potential organ donor?
Yes, its Health professionalӳ duty to save life of patient first. Despite of all efforts, if the patient dies, organ and tissue donation can then be considered and a completely different team of retrieval and transplant specialists would be called in.
5.Is it possible that I can express my wish to donate organs to some people and not to others?
No. Organs and tissue cannot be accepted unless they are freely donated. There is no such conditions that can be accepted in terms of potential recipients. You can express your wish to donate specifically which Organ &/or Tissue, you want to donate.
6.What, if I had pledged to donate Organs, but my family refuses?
In most situations, families agree of donation if they knew that was their loved oneӳ wish. If the family, or those closest to the person who has died, object to the donation when the person who has died has given their explicit permission, either by telling relatives, close friends or clinical staff, or by carrying a donor card or registering their wishes on the NOTTO website, healthcare professionals will discuss the matter sensitively with them. They will be encouraged to accept the dead personӳ wishes. However, if families still object, then donation process will not go further and donation will not materialize.
1.What is legal position on Organ Donation?
Organ Transplantation and Donation is permitted by law, and covered under the “Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994”, which has allowed organ donation by live & Brain-stem Dead donors. In 2011, amendment of the Act also brought in donation of human tissues, there by calling the Amended Act “Transplantation of Human Organs & Tissues Act 2011”.
2.Can people buy / sell organs?
No. As per Transplant of Human Organ Act (THOA), buying/ selling of organ in any way is punishable and has significant financial as well judicial punishment. Not only in India, but in any part of world, selling of an organ is not permissible.
3. Whom do I report, in case, I find that there is a sale of organs?
In case, anybody submitting false records or any other delinquency should be reported to the Appropriate Authority of the State Government, Department of Health & Family Welfare. Any hospital, Authorization Committee, or a person can approach the State Appropriate Authority. The Appropriate Authority can file a case against the party.
As per the Amended 2011 THO Act offenses/punishments are as follow:
|Offence ( THO Act 2011 Amendment)||Imprisonment||Fine|
|Removal of organs without authority||10 years||Rs. 20 Lakh|
|Removal of organs without authority – Penalty for RMP||1st offence: de-registration for 3 years||2nd offence: permanent de-registration|
|Commercial dealing in organs, falsification of documents||5 ֠10 years||Rs. 20 Lakh ֠1 crore|
|Any violation of THOA||5 years||Rs. 20 Lakh|
4.Does Government of India financially support organ transplant?
Yes. Government of India has started National Organ and Transplant Program (NOTP), under which patients below poverty line are supported for the cost of transplant as well as cost of immunosuppressant after transplant for one year. Other than this, renal transplant in all public hospitals is subsidized as per Government of India policy.
5.Is it possible to jump the waiting list if you are rich, well connected and influential?
No. In India, the allocation of organs to recipients on the waiting list is based on predetermined criteria which include date of registration and medical criteria.
The wealth, race, or gender of a person on the waiting list has no effect on when and whether a person will receive a donated organ. The Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994 makes it illegal to buy or sell human organs in India.
6.If someone desperately needs an organ, is there any point in making a special appeal?
Any special appeal usually results in more people agreeing to become donors and can increase the number of organs pledging.
However, family appeals through the newspapers and television will not result in an organ immediately becoming available for the person on whose behalf the appeal was made. The patient will still be on the waiting list, just like everyone else, and the rules that govern the matching and allocation of donor organs to recipients still apply.