Monday, July 21, 2008

Organ For Sale

Demand is more than supply. The stakeholders are going ‘alternative’ to persuade organ donation. Taipei city government offers free funerals for cadaveric organ donors. Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Cambridge University, Sir Roy Calne suggested commercialization to drum up support as the donation rates have not risen in 10 years.

Financial reward is a ‘dirty word’ in organ donation. The pro group said it is not a bribe, just a token for the generosity. Other suggestion was to accord hospital care system for the immediate family members. In the local context, how about a Datukship for a real hero whose organs save lives! Dato Organ or Dato Transplant!

Statistically, there are 2,600 new patients who are diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure each year. More than 16,000 patients are on dialysis programs. The organ procurement rate still hovers at 1.31 per one million population (Spain has the highest recorded donor rate in the world at 35.1 per million population.)

What other ways to market organ donation? The Thai Red Cross placed advertisements in cinemas and on prime time television to reach out to the masses. Thai celebrities who carry donor cards became ambassadors of the cause and there were soap operas about organ donation.

So how can you play a role? Make a choice. Talk to your family members about your choice so that your choice would be respected. Spread the word: organ donation saves lives.

pic - not this musical organ! but your kidneys, liver, eyes and all the body parts!

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