|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2002 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 358-359
M Vanathi, R Tandon, Rasik B Vajpayee
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Vanathi M, Tandon R, Vajpayee RB. In reply. Indian J Ophthalmol 2002;50:358-9
| Dear Editor,|| |
I would like to thank Vanathi et al for their interest in my article. Shortage of corneas severely limits our ability to help people with corneal blindness. Frustration caused by shortages has lead to the promotion of controversial options such as the offer of financial incentives for organ donation. This raises serious ethical issues and has potential for misuse. Other studies, besides mine, have found media publicity inadequate and recommend that public education as a primary focus for organ procurement be abandoned. However, rather than giving it up altogether, public education may be refocused to encourage family discussions on eye donation, so that families are more likely to consent to donation when asked. Mandated choice honours an individual's wish to donate upon his death, but has logistical problems due to the cost and complexity of maintaining a national database of donors. There are also ethical issues since it bypasses the family, who have the right to be asked and whose views must be respected.
I agree with Vanathi et al that ultimately it is the family of the potential donor who must be positively influenced to enhance donation rates. Hospital retrieval systems should be developed in tandem with public education. Doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and medical students are ideally placed to perform this function. Training courses should be offered in effective procedures for requesting donation. Studies have shown that training of staff is significantly associated with higher rates of donation.
| References|| |
De Jong, W, Drachman J, Gortmaker SL. Options for increasing organ donation: The potential role of financial incentives, standardised hospital procedures, and public education to promote family discussion. Milbank Q
Verble M, Worth J. The case against more public education to promote organ donation. J Transpl Coord
Spital A. Mandated choice for organ donation: Time to give it a try.Ann Intern Med
Evanisko MJ, Beasley CL, Brigham LE, Capossela C, Cosgrove GR, Light J et al. Readiness of critical care physicians and nurses to handle requests for organ donation. Am J Crit Care