Organ donation has proved to be a miracle for the society. Organs such as kidneys, heart, eyes, liver, small intestine, bone tissues, skin tissues, and veins are donated for the purpose of transplantation. The donor gives a new life to the recipient by the way of this noble act. Organ donation is encouraged worldwide. The government of different countries has put up different systems in place to encourage organ donation. However, the demand for organs is still quite high as compared to their supply. Effective steps must be taken to meet this ever-increasing demand.
Long and Short Essay on Organ Donation
Essay 1 (250 words)
Organ donation takes place when an organ of a person’s body is removed with his consent while he is alive or with the consent of his family member after his death for the purpose of research or transplant. Kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, bones, bone marrow, corneas, intestines, and skin are transplanted to give new life to the receiver.
Organ Donation Process
- Living Donors
Living donors require undergoing thorough medical tests before organ donation. This also includes psychological evaluation of the donor to ensure whether he understands the consequences of donation and truly consents for it.
- Deceased Donors
In the case of the deceased donors, it is first verified that the donor is dead. The verification of death is usually done multiple times by a neurologist. It is then determined if any of his/ her organs can be donated.
After death, the body is kept on a mechanical ventilator to ensure the organs remain in good condition. Most organs work outside the body only for a couple of hours and thus it is ensured that they reach the recipient immediately after removal.
The gap between Demand and Supply
The demand for organs is considerably higher than the number of donors around the world. Each year several patients die waiting for donors. Statistics reveal that in India against an average annual demand for 200,000 kidneys, only 6,000 are received. Similarly, the average annual demand for hearts is 50,000 while as low as 15 of them are available.
The need for organ donation needs to be sensitized among the public to increase the number of donors. The government has taken certain steps such as spreading awareness about the same by way of TV and the internet. However, we still have a long way to go.
Organ donation can save a person’s life. Its importance must not be overlooked. A proper system should be put in place for organ donation to encourage the same.
Essay 2 (400 words)
Organ donation is the process of allowing organs or tissue to be removed surgically from one person to place it in another person or to use it for research purposes. It is done by the consent of the donor in case he is alive or by the consent of next of kin after death. Organ donation is encouraged worldwide.
Kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, bones, bone marrow, skin, pancreas, corneas, intestines and skin are commonly used for transplantation to render new life to the recipient. Organ donation is mostly done after the donor’s death. However, certain organs and tissues such as a kidney, lobe of a lung, portion of the liver, intestine or pancreas can be donated by living donors as well.
Organ Donation Consent Process
There are two types of consents when it comes to organ donation. These are the explicit consent and presumed consent.
- Explicit Consent: Under this, the donor provides direct consent through registration and carrying out other required formalities based on the country.
- Presumed Consent: This does not include direct consent from the donor or the next of kin. As the name suggests, it is assumed that the donation would have been allowed by the potential donor in case consent was pursued.
Among the possible donors, approximately twenty-five percent of the families deny the donation of their loved one’s organs.
Organ Donation in India
- Legalized by Law
Organ donations are legal as per the Indian law. The Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), 1994 enacted by the government of India permits organ donation and legalizes the concept of brain death.
- Documentation and Formalities
The donor is required to fill a prescribed form. The same can be taken from the hospital or other medical facility approached for organ donation or can be downloaded from the ministry of health and family welfare government of India’s website.
In the case of a deceased donor, written consent from the lawful custodian is required in the prescribed application form.
As is the case with the rest of the world, the demand for organs in India is much higher compared to their supply. There is a major shortage of donated organs in the country. Several patients are on the waitlist and many of them succumb to death waiting for an organ transplant.
The government of India is making efforts to spread awareness about organ transplant to encourage the same. However, it needs to take effective steps to raise the number of donors.
Essay 3 (500 words)
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 rates. The issue must be taken more seriously. Laws to increase the rate of organ donation must be put in place to encourage the same.
Essay 4 (600 words)
Organ Donation is the surgical removal of a living or dead donor’s organs to place them in the recipient to render him/her a new life. Organ donation has been encouraged worldwide. However, the demand for human organs far outweighs the supply. The low rate of organ donation around the world can be attributed to various reasons. These reasons are discussed below in detail.
The moral status of the black market organ donation is debatable. While some argue in favor of it others are absolutely against the concept. It has been seen that those who donate their organs are generally from the poor section of the society and those who can afford these are quite well off. There is thus an imbalance in the trade.
It has been observed that those who can purchase the organs are taking advantage of the ones who are desperate to sell. This is said to be one of the reasons for the rising inequality of status between the rich and the poor. On the other hand, it is argued that those who want to sell their organs should be allowed to do so as preventing them from it is only contributing to their status as impoverished. Those who are in favor of the organ trade also argue that exploitation is preferable to death and hence organ trade must be legalized. However, as per a survey, later in life the living donors regret their decision of donating their organs.
Several cases of organ theft have also come forward. While those in support of the legalization of organ market say that this happens because of the black market nature of trade while others state that legalizing it would only result in the rise of such crimes as the criminal can easily state that the organ being sold has not been stolen.
These are defined by a person’s ethical duty to take action. Almost all the societies in the world believe that donating organs voluntarily is ethically permissible. Many scholars believe that everyone should donate their organs after death.
However, the main issue from the standpoint of deontological ethics is the debate over the definitions of life, death, body, and human. It has been argued that an organ donation is an act of causing self-harm. The use of cloning to come up with organs with a genotype identical to the recipient is another controversial topic.
Xenotransplantation which is the transfer of animal organs into human bodies has also created a stir. Though this has resulted in an increased supply of organs it has also received a lot of criticism. Certain animal rights groups have opposed the sacrifice of animals for organ donation. Campaigns have been launched to ban this new field of transplantation.
Different religious groups have different viewpoints regarding organ donation. The Hindu religion does not prohibit people from donating organs. The advocates of the Hindu religion state that it is an individual choice. Buddhists share the same viewpoint.
The Catholics consider it as an act of love and charity. It is morally and ethically acceptable as per them. The Christian Church, Islam, United Methodists, and Judaism encourage organ donation. However, Gypsies tend to oppose it as they believe in the afterlife. The Shintos are also against it as they believe that injuring a dead body is a heinous crime.
Apart from this, the political system of a country also impacts organ donation. The organ donation rate can increase if the government extends proper support. There needs to be a strong political will to ensure a rise in the transplant rate. Specialized training, care, facilities, and adequate funding must be provided to ensure a rise.
The demand for organs has always been way higher than their supply due to the various issues discussed above. There is a need to focus on these issues and work upon them in order to raise the number of organ donors.