Organ Donation to Get Easier

      May 13, 2009 11:31

      People who wish to donate their organs will be able to do so even if their surviving family object to the decision. The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs on Tuesday unveiled a bill aiming to promote organ donation which will be finalized this month and submitted to the National Assembly in September.

      To allow a person who did not consent to donating their organs before death to do so, the consent of two people -- a spouse, immediate family members, lineal descendants or siblings -- is required. But following the revision, the consent of just one will be enough.

      At present, between six to 10 people including three doctors are required to sit on hospital committees that determine whether a patient is brain dead. Following the changes, only four to six including two doctors will be required. Mentally or physically disabled people were not allowed to donate their organs if they did not offer their personal consent, but the changes will allow organ donations from such people based on consent from their surviving family.

      To prevent the trade in human organs and other negative effects, only medical institutions authorized to handle organ transplants will be allowed to register and manage lists of recipients. At present, the central government and local governments, the Red Cross and nonprofit organizations are also allowed to do this.

      Last year, 256 people donated organs, a near two-fold rise from 2007, but more donors are needed since the waiting list has risen sharply to 10,717 in 2008, compared to 7,614 in 2007.

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