Hunan starts organ donation pilot program

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CRI, September 19, 2010
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Central China's Hunan Province has recently begun the country's first pilot program for human organ donations, the local newspaper Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports.

Under the program, organs may be donated only after a donor's heart stops beating and excludes those who are brain dead, according to the provincial health department.

People who do not have AIDS, other serious infectious diseases or cancer are generally suitable for donating well-functioning organs.

All organ donations should be voluntary and done free of charge. Those who are willing to donate their organs and bodies can register by completing written application forms. Spouses, adult children and parents of those who have not registered but have not made an objection to organ donations can also donate a family member's organs and body after they complete written statements.

After a person is dead, any of his organs that are still functioning will be transplanted to patients who need them. The organ transplants will be conducted fairly and according to the conditions of the patients who require them.

Current organ transplants in China mainly include those from recipients' relatives, unexpected deaths, craniocerebral trauma and deaths from cerebral lesions, said Ye Qifa, a well-known organ transplant expert.

Many Chinese find it difficult to accept organ donations because Confucianism dictates that one's organs and body come from one's parents and should be well maintained even after death, said Ye.

The pilot program calls for ethical medical procedures in restoring the former appearance of donors' bodies after their organs have been removed.

Families of donors who have financial difficulties are eligible to receive help from the provincial organ donation office.

Commemorative cemeteries, monuments and websites will be created to honor organ donors in Hunan.

Health Ministry statistics indicate that only 10,000 of the 1.5 million patients who require organ transplants annually receive operations. In Hunan, the number of patients waiting for kidney transplants is the highest. At present, there are some 60,000 kidney disease patients in the province, although only 700 of them receive organ transplants each year.

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