Pledging your organs and becoming an organ donor

If you want to pledge your organs, you can fill out this form on our Website http://www.organindia.org/claim-your-donor-card/

An important point to note once you register as a donor is that your donor card is not a legal entity or an official document. It is merely an expression of your wish to be a donor. The card that we will send you does not carry any legal weight. But do keep it with you and make sure you let all your friends and family know about your intended choice.

Should Organ Donors Talk to Their Families?

Yes! The most important thing that an organ donor must do, after he or she has pledged to become a donor, is to discuss the decision with his or her family. Although the decision is personal, organ and tissue donation cannot take place without the consent of the donor’s family. Donors are advised to help their families understand the motive behind their decisions. For instance, if they have been inspired by another donor’s or recipient’s story they could narrate this story to their family so that they understand the sentiment behind this decision. This will make the family more likely to go along with the donor’s decision, if need arises.

In India, legally, it is the next of kin of the donor who will decide whether to donate their organs or not. Even if you have pledged your organs, no donation will happen unless the next of kin signs the forms. Therefore, when you do register anywhere to be an organ donor, it’s very important that you discuss your wish to donate with your family. This is to enable your family to carry out your wishes in case the need arises.

Can anyone donate organs? Are there any conditions under which organ donation is not possible?

Generally, there is no bar to organ donation and one or the other organ or tissues can be donated at any age. The only people who cannot donate organs are those have/had cancer, HIV or disease-causing bacteria in the bloodstream or body tissues. However even this is not a hard and fast rule. There have been instances where one HIV positive person has donated to another HIV positive patient.

However, it is important to do some essential virology screening before accepting the donor. All potential donors will require a virology screen to prevent possible transmission of disease from donor to the recipient. The next of kin should be made aware that this is necessary; if there are any objections by the doctors to the donation, these should be respected.

Decisions about an organ’s usability are made at the donor’s time of death or, in the case of living donors, during the pre-transplant screening stage.