Thursday, May 14, 2009

Organ Donation to Get Easier in South Korea

Congratulations to South Korea for taking steps to prevent the trade in human organs by allowing only medical institutions to procure and allocate organs for transplantation. They've also changed the consent rules for family members of potential organ donors.

People who wish to donate their organs will be able to do so even if their surviving family object to the decision. The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs on Tuesday unveiled a bill aiming to promote organ donation which will be finalized this month and submitted to the National Assembly in September.

To allow a person who did not consent to donating their organs before death to do so, the consent of two people -- a spouse, immediate family members, lineal descendants or siblings -- is required. But following the revision, the consent of just one will be enough.

At present, between six to 10 people including three doctors are required to sit on hospital committees that determine whether a patient is brain dead. Following the changes, only four to six including two doctors will be required. Mentally or physically disabled people were not allowed to donate their organs if they did not offer their personal consent, but the changes will allow organ donations from such people based on consent from their surviving family.

To prevent the trade in human organs and other negative effects, only medical institutions authorized to handle organ transplants will be allowed to register and manage lists of recipients. At present, the central government and local governments, the Red Cross and non-profit organizations are also allowed to do this.

Last year, 256 people donated organs, a near two-fold rise from 2007, but more donors are needed since the waiting list has risen sharply to 10,717 in 2008, compared to 7,614 in 2007.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network
For other Canadian provinces click here

In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register

In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register

Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

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