Rachana Holds Talk on Organ Donation, Felicitates Gold Medalist Viola D’Souza
Mangaluru: The Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Rachana) organized a talk on Organ Donation, Euthanasia and Eye Donation at St Anne’s Hall, Friary Complex, Jail Road here on June 12.
The programme began with a prayer by Fr Francis Almieda. In his welcome address, President of Rachana, Gilbert D’Souza explained the importance of organ donation in society and the need for more awareness and attention to it in the country. He also introduced the speakers – Dr Derek Lobo, Dr Norman Mendonca and Dr Christopher Pais.
Speaking on organ donation, Dr Derek Lobo said that thousands of organs are burned or buried everyday while they could be given to save thousands of life. Man’s inhumanity to man is exemplified by the stigma that we see in society towards those suffering from least infectious and completely curable diseases like leprosy, Filariasis, Vitiligo, etc. In India, 10 people die every minute, that is equivalent to 22500 deaths per day or 8.4 million a year, but the number of people donating organs is less than 500 a year. This figure stands at 6000 a year in US. There are around 100,000-150,000 people who require a kidney transplant but only 3,000 people get one; the rest are put on the waiting list with 90% of them dying due to lack of availability of an organ. The figures for liver and skin grafts are also disproportionately small compared to the demand.
Dr Lobo explained about the 6 organs (heart, pancreas, liver, intestines, kidneys and lungs) and 6 tissues (corneas, heart valves, skin, bones, veins, tendons) that can be donated, the types of organ donation that a person can do, the age for donation, and the laws in place for the process. “But even if you want to donate, excluding the eye, you cannot donate other organs here in Mangalore, due to the lack of facilities for organ donation and transplant. Even though we have 7 medical colleges in the city and are called a medical education hub, I do not understand why we do not have organ donation facilities.” Currently, in Karanataka, there are 10 centers for Kidney donation (7 in Bangalore, 2 in Mysore and 1 in Mangalore), while there are 5 centers for liver, 4 for heart and 4 for pancreas, all in Bangalore. While 10 people die every minute in the country, 15 people are added to the ever increasing list of those in need of organ transplant. “One person who donates his/her organs can save atleast 8-10 people. There are also many scams/rackets taking place in the name of organ donation where hospitals, middlemen and doctors are making money at the cost of the donor. We need to join hands as a community, and together with Father Muller’s College Hospital, try to set up a state-of-the-art organ transplant for kidney and a dedicated OT & ICU for severe burn cases,” he added.
Dr Norman Mendonca spoke on eye donation and explained the process from removal of the eyes from the donor to evaluation, processing and transplant to the recipient.
Speaking on Euthanasia in India, Dr Christopher Pais briefed the gathering on the anatomy of the brain, the different types of death in relation to the brain (viz. brain death, brainstem death and Permanent Vegetative State (PVS)) and the types of life supports (Basic and Advanced) that are provided to a patient. He also touched upon the topic of passive euthanasia and the judgment law passed by the Supreme Court that acts as a guideline to such cases.
Later, there was a Q&A session where the doctors interacted with the audience. A member of the audience asked about if hospitals put patients on ventilators to make money, to which Dr Pais replied, “If the patient is young and had a poisoning, then a hospital would usually recommend the ventilator. But if you have a 90-year-old patient who has suffered a cardiac arrest and is unconscious, and the hospital tells that the patient needs to be put on a ventilator, then it is definitely for money. It is the responsibility of the doctor and the hospital to recommend the proper treatment as family members and relatives of the patient will definitely agree to anything that may save the patient’s life.”
Carine Viola D’Souza was felicitated on the occasion, for her securing a Gold medal in M.Tech. Secretary Eulalia D’Souza compered the programme and delivered the vote of thanks.
Former President of Rachana John Monteiro, Marcel Monteiro, Walter D’Souza, Elias Sanctis, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Michael D’Souza and others were also present.
Pics by Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean