Great­est gift, say spir­i­tual gu­rus as doc­tors al­lay fears

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Mum­bai: Spir­i­tual lead­ers, doc­tors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of NGOs came to­gether at a seminar held in Kok­i­l­aben Am­bani Hos­pi­tal, And­heri, on Au­gust 8 to bust myths and pro­mote or­gan do­na­tion.

The seminar, or­ga­nized by TOI in the run-up to the Or­gan Do­na­tion Day on Au­gust 13, saw spir­i­tual lead­ers stat­ing that or­gan do­na­tions were the great­est gifts ever while doc­tors ex­horted peo­ple not to fear them.

Fa­ther Stephen Fer­nan­des, a teacher of moral the­ol­ogy from St Pius X Col­lege, Gore­gaon, said or­gan do­na­tion is noble. “It is a tes­ta­ment of love to one’s neigh­bours,” he said, adding that Popes had of­ten spo­ken in its favour.

Over a mil­lion In­di­ans suf­fer with end-stage or­gan fail­ure but only around 3,500 trans­plants are per­formed an­nu­ally. At least 15 pa­tients die ev­ery day wait­ing for or­gans. Ev­ery 10 min­utes a new name is added to this wait­ing list.

Mum­bai res­i­dent Bhave­sha Parikh has been wait­ing for a kid­ney do­na­tion for two years. “One has to look happy from the out­side be­cause one has fam­ily, but one spends five hours ev­ery other day un­der­go­ing dial­y­sis. This leaves one un­able to care for their chil­dren or other fam­ily mem­bers,” Parekh said.

Brah­maku­mari Sis­ter Shivani won­dered what was block­ing In­di­ans from do­nat­ing or­gans. “We are taught that karma done to­day will ben­e­fit our fam­ily for a long time,” she said. So, it shouldn’t take us long to de­cide to do ‘daan’ of our body’s or­gans.”

Ir­fan Engi­neer of the In­sti­tute for Peace Stud­ies and Con­flict Res­o­lu­tion said said it was a shame there are only a few thou­sand do­na­tions in In­dia an­nu­ally. “Or­gan do­na­tion is a way to be­come im­mor­tal,” he said. His en­tire fam­ily has pledged their or­gans.

Anil Ra­j­van­shi, an aca­demic from the Nim­bkar Agri­cul­tural Re­search In­sti­tute, said “bod­ies don’t have any re­li­gion”. “All or­gans have a map on the brain. When brain death oc­curs, this map gets cleaned out,’’ he said, adding, “Why should there be any fear then?” As a model of this self­less do­na­tion, the Kan­war fam­ily was present at the meet­ing to speak about donor Ro­hini Kan­war. Her hus­band Pankaj do­nated Ro­hini’s or­gans af­ter she was de­clared brain dead a few years ago. “It was her na­ture to help oth­ers. In her pass­ing too, she en­sured that five pa­tients could lead health­ier lives,’’ Pankaj said.

Kok­i­l­aben Am­bani Hos­pi­tal’s liver trans­plant spe­cial­ist Dr Vi­nay Ku­maran said only a small por­tion of pa­tients suf­fer­ing from or­gan fail­ure man­age to un­dergo a trans­plant in In­dia. “As a sur­geon, there is noth­ing more sat­is­fy­ing than see­ing an or­gan fail­ure pa­tient get­ting back to nor­mal with a trans­planted or­gan. Within a month, the re­cip­i­ent looks health­ier than many oth­ers,’’ he said. Urol­o­gist Dr San­jay Pandey said there is so much reser­va­tion against or­gan do­na­tion that even rel­a­tives refuse to do­nate. Sameer Dua of NGO Gift Your Or­gan Foun­da­tion said, “There is a need to re­al­ize that there is no point tak­ing or­gans with you af­ter death, you don’t them.”

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