Kiwis Initiate Facebook Organ Donor Scheme

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  July 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM Health Watch
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Facebook users in New Zealand will be able to share their organ donor status with their FB friends. The potential donors can now display "organ donor" as a life event on their timeline.
Kiwis Initiate Facebook Organ Donor Scheme
Kiwis Initiate Facebook Organ Donor Scheme

New Zealand is the fifth country to be a part of the online project that has been initiated to increase awareness regarding organ donation and to motivate the public to become registered organ donors. Other countries that are already a part of this project are United States, United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands. New Zealand's health Ministry and Organ Donation New Zealand have approved of this initiative.

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However, Organ Donation New Zealand expressed its concern over the generic wording regarding organ donation used on Facebook, which it believed may create confusion.

"New Zealand does not have a donor register, if you do express that you would like to be an organ donor on Facebook, remember to also have a discussion with your family," clinical director of Organ Donation New Zealand, Stephen Streat, said." Because this is a global initiative, the wording may lead people to believe that they are a registered organ donor."

People who display their donor status on their Facebook page must make their wishes very clear to their family members, he added.

"In New Zealand you can currently register your wishes on your driver's licence. However, like the new tool on Facebook, this is an indication of your wishes. It is important to also have this conversation with your family so they know what you want should you ever be in a situation where organ donation is possible." "It is important to remember that fewer than 1 percent of people die in situations where organ donation is possible. An organ donor must be on a ventilator in an intensive care unit and have fatal brain damage," Streat said.

NZ Health Minister Tony Ryall announced earlier on that an extra $4 million would be spent spreading awareness and encouraging more people. Half of this money would go towards training intensive care health professionals to identify prospective donors in dying patients and to provide greater support to their families, said the minister. A further $250,000 will be spent on looking into the establishment of a national donor exchange scheme and about $1.75 million will go to support and enhance live organ donation.

Although 186 people benefited from organ transplants in New Zealand last year, there are many more waiting for their turn, and this includes 600 people needing kidney replacements alone.

In India, the Government passed the 'Transplantation of Human Organs Act' in the year 1994 that legalized brain death and facilitated the procurement of organs from brain- dead donors. However, the concept of organ donation has not been well received among the public for want of education and awareness. This void between demand and supply is perpetrating the unethical commercial sale of human organs, even as thousands of lives are lost annually.

A brain dead individual can donate various organs like heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, skin and corneas, while a living person can donate organs like kidney. By donating organs we get a chance to save many lives. There are very few acts in this world that are nobler than organ donation!

Reference :

Source: Medindia

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