Financial compensation should be offered to donors as a means of encouraging organ donation: FOR THE MOTION

-Dr. Ripudaman Bajwa, Intern ,GMC, Patiala.

The disparity between huge demands for the human liver and their poor supply exemplifies the current scenario of organ donation in India. National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization recorded 1945 liver transplants all over India from 1945 till the year 2018. With a population of 135.26 crores where liver disease burden is 22.2 deaths/100,000 population attributed to end-stage liver disease according to the WHO and a need for approximately 50,000 livers for transplantation annually, are our current policies helping?

‘Be an Organ Donor…… All it costs is a little love’, is a slogan our national organ donation body advocates today. But does it only cost the donor little love? I firmly affirm that the people who provide new leases of life to the ones in need of an organ must be compensated adequately.

Transplantation of Human Organs Act,1994 states ‘ Cost of donor management, retrieval, transportation and preservation to be borne by the recipient, institution, government, NGO or society, and not by the donor family’. In a meta-analysis study related to organ donor costs, Clarke et al estimated that the total costs related to kidney donation were as high as $28,000. In the 26th year of this Indian act, it does a poor job in even removing the disincentives that donors deal with, let alone an extra compensation. Travel costs, food and lodging, and wages lost due to the act of kindness remain unaccounted. While Indian studies remain sparse, worldwide trends suggest that a donor may incur expenses worth thousands, if not lakhs while navigating the entire transplantation process and beyond. When will these financial difficulties be addressed? And are we still going to question the aspect of financial compensation? Financial neutrality for living donors sounds fair and a point that can stop this ethical debate.

Kerela Network of Organ Sharing (KNOS) on 21st February 2018 announced ₹ 1.5 Lakhs compensation to every living donor. The southern state enjoys one of the best health statistics in the Indian subcontinent; in fact, some are even similar to those in high-income countries. Today, the state records second-best organ donation statistics nationwide. Compensation has proved to be miraculous and as a possible strategy to cause a drastic shift in the old trends. While the donor receives appropriate care before, during and after the donation, a homo sapien gets blessed with the possible revival of his/her life. Here, financial compensation can act as a definite scheme of mutual benefit for both the donor and the sick.

Credits- economic times

We are set to witness the introduction of ‘Donation and Transplantation of Human Organ Bill, 2020’ in the upcoming monsoon session of the Indian parliament. I wish to convey how along with a compulsory adult registration which it proposes, financial aid for the living donor can survive the dying trend of donation in our pandemic hit India. Illegal trade of organs can witness a possible far-flung break as we encourage more organ donors to come up and fill the voids. A centralized, well-formulated law for the benefit of donors may swing the odds in favor of those who struggle to outlive the long queues of uncertainty at various organ registers to initiate a much-needed revolution in the Indian subcontinent’s current organ transplantation scenario.

References-

  1. World Health Organization. Global Health Observatory Data Repository. Available from: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/view.main.GHECTRYASDRGHE123v?lang5en
  2. Clarke KS, Klarenbach S, Vlaicu S, et al., Donor Nephrectomy Outcomes Research N. The direct and indirect economic costs incurred by living kidney donors: a systematic review. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2006; 21:1952 – 1960.
  3. News, C. and News, T., 2020. Donate Organ: Compensation, User Fee For Organ Donation | Thiruvananthapuram News – Times Of India. [online] The Times of India.
  4. Image reference www.butnowyouknow.net

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