‘Opt-in for organ donations should be automatic’

‘Opt-in for organ donations should be automatic’

Dr. K Bhujang Shetty, Chairman & Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya; Mr. M B Gurudev, Officer In Charge, Doddaballapur Eye Collection Centre and Mr. Arvind Kumar, Member of Executive Committee, EBAI and Senior Manager, Vasan Eye Bank, Hyderabad ce

Rather than asking families to opt-in for organ donation, harvesting of organs must be made automatic, said Dr K Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya.

“We should follow the ‘opt-out’ in terms of donating eyes and other organs after death, as in the West, especially in Spain where every citizen is an organ donor unless they opt-out,” Dr Shetty said.

“Unlike in the West, here in India, we sign bonds and have donor cards saying that we are probable donors, where the citizens are “opting-in”,” he added.

Dr Shetty spoke of the yawning gap between the growing demand for eyes and the meagre supply. “At least two to three lakh eye donations need to happen per year to meet the demand and supply. But we have only 50,000 eye donations annually, while 50 lakh recipients are waiting,” he said.

Having an eye donation card will not ensure the harvesting of the organ since death can come at any time. Donors should inform the families about their decision to make the job of counsellors easy. “It’s the family who becomes the custodian of your body,” Dr Shetty added.

Narayana Nethralaya is observing eye donation fortnight and announced the 2nd Dakshina Bharath Nethradhan Sammelan “Accelerated Laksha Laqshya 2018” here on Saturday.

The hospital runs  Dr Rajkumar Eye bank with collections centres in Arasikere, Doddaballapura, Hosakote, Shivamogga and Madhugiri.

The eye bank’s manager Veeresh MPM said he has trained at least 20 people in harvesting the eyes from the deceased. He said the hospital has a plan to hold a certified training session to mobilize more people to increase eye donation.

The hospital felicitated various eye collection centres in the state for their efforts.

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