Organ Donation Study - 19% Of Indians Keep Their Organs For Next Lives


Photo Credits: Pixabay

In India, 79.8% of the population practices Hinduism and believe in the system of reincarnation. The nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life.

According to a study conducted by India-based Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance and the Multi-Organ Harvesting Aid Network (MOHAN) Foundation, nearly 20% of Indians fear they will be reborn without a donated organ. Another 21% are not sure if that will happen or not. The number of organ donors in the country actually increased from 313 in 2013, to 905 in 2017, according to the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization, but it’s still very low number.

In 2017 Spain had the highest donor rate in the world at 46.9 per million people, followed by Portugal (34.0 per million), Belgium (33.6 per million), Croatia (33.0 per million) and the US (32.0 per million).

As the Quartz India reports, this (along with other factors like fear of disapproval from family) lacks of faith in medical practitioners. Low transparency results in dismal levels of commitment to the cause, according to Edelweiss Tokio, which surveyed 1,565 respondents across 12 cities in the country.

“The belief that harvesting of the organs would mutilate the body, or that the family would lose all rights to the body of their loved ones perpetuates fear regarding the organ donation process,” said Sumit Rai, managing director and chief executive officer at Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance.

Individual prejudices, too, hinder organ donation. Many of those surveyed said they would not donate organs to, or receive from, LGBTQ individuals. About 54% of people are in favour of disallowing LGBTQ people from donating organs.

One of the celebrities who announced the results of the survey also made a pitch for people to donate:

[Actor Rahul] Bose, a registered organ donor, said organ donation is the easiest way to contribute to society. “It doesn’t require your time, skill or money. It requires you, only after your death. Personally, it is a no-brainer.”

The problem with organ donation is that there is a large gap between the numbers of registered donors compared to those awaiting organ donations on a global level. For example, as of February 2, 2019, there were 120,000 people waiting for life-saving organ transplants in the US. Of these, 74,897 people were active candidates waiting for a donor. As the study shows, 80% of people in India are aware of organ donation, but only 3% of people say they’re donors.

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