There are two types of organ donations – Living Organ Donations & Deceased Organ Donations.
Living Organ Donation: This is when you retrieve an organ from a healthy living person and transplant it into the body of someone who is suffering from end-stage organ failure. This is commonly done in the case of a liver or a kidney failure (because the liver can grow back to its normal size and a donor can survive on one kidney).
Living donors are classified as either a near relative or a distant relative/friends etc.
A near-relative is spouse, son/daughter, brother/sister, parents, grandparents and grandchildren.
Those other than near-relative can be distant relatives and friends who will need the permission of the State Authorization Committee to donate organs. If the hospital refuses to entertain such cases, the patient may send a legal notice to the hospital for not following the Transplant Act.
Deceased Organ Donation: When we talk about pledging your organs for donation or about organ donation after death, we are talking about Deceased Organ Donation. This is an organ donation from a person who has been declared brain stem dead by a team of authorized doctors at a hospital. A person is said to be brain stem dead when there is an irreversible loss of consciousness, absence of brain stem reflexes and irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe.
A lot of people think that whenever and however they die, their organs can be donated. That is not true. In India, it is only in the case of Brain stem death that your organs can be donated.
Donation after cardiac death is common in the West, but in India it is rare for donations to take place after cardiac death.
Although it is possible for organs such as the liver and the kidney to be easily donated from a living donor to a recipient, we should work towards an environment where everyone donates their organs after their deaths (if they can), so no living person should have to donate an organ to another.