Organ donation is the gift of ones body parts after death for the purpose of transplantation. Transplantation is an operation which involves the replacement of diseased and defective organs and tissues with healthy ones from donors. The commonly transplanted organs are kidneys, heart, liver, lungs and pancreas while the transplantable tissues are eyes, bone, skin and heart valves. Thus a single donor can save the lives of a number of people.
As reported in the Star, since college student Yap Wai Kein (the first local donor) donated his heart to technician R. Sathrugnan eight years ago, there have been 14 other transplants in the country. Records show that families who have pledged their loved ones’ organs have so far been from the low-income group. International statistics show that less than 5% of people who pledged their organs actually get the chance to make donations. This is due to the strict medical conditions that have to be adhered to, such as being brain dead with no chance of recovery.
For pledge forms and more information, contact the National Transplant Resource Centre. You can also register as an organ donor online at the Malaysian Society of Transplantation website or get the form here.