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Year : 1987  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 175

Eye Donation and Eye Banking


Date of Web Publication20-Dec-2008

Correspondence Address:
S Tony Fernandez

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 3506925

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How to cite this article:
Fernandez S T. Eye Donation and Eye Banking. Indian J Ophthalmol 1987;35:175

How to cite this URL:
Fernandez S T. Eye Donation and Eye Banking. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1987 [cited 2022 Dec 7];35:175. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1987/35/4/175/26184

Comeal blindness is a major problem in our country Thousands of patients remain blind due to non-availability of donor come as many of the corneal transplantations are done with eyes imported from Sri Lanka

Now there is an encouraging trend in establishing eye banks in many parts of our country - both in the government as well as in the voluntary sectors Of all - the eye bank organizations two need special mention' The Eye Bank of Chikodra', Gujarat and 'The Times Eye Foundation which are working very well in this field The main factor behind this success is the devoted and efficient leadership. There may be a few more who are doing good work but by and large the majority do very little in this field. The reasons for such failure may be lack of leadership, financial constraints and lack of knowledge regarding the working of the eye bank

Apart from educational propaganda, collection and distribution of the donor material, the eye banks may be faced with problems involving religious beliefs and ethical issues These problems may need specific answers and guidance. Some of the questions that have been repeatedly asked and discussed are:­

  1. If a living person can donate his/her kidney for transplantation, why are they not permitted to donate one of his/her eyes for their own kith and kin ? Is there any act prohibiting such a donation ?
  2. To what extent should advertisements by the eye bank involve the doctors doing the transplant without sacrificing the professional ethics?
  3. Should there he some control over the eye banks and centres doing corneal transplantation ?
  4. Should purchase and sale of donor materials be strictly banned?

At the initiative of the Director General of Health Services a meeting was held in December 1985 where the ethical issues in the eye bank organiz­ation, a uniform corneal grafting act and certain guidelines in organizing eye banks were discussed Many useful recommendations and suggestions were put forward but no further follow-ups were made in this direction. Until and unless we have an apex body like a `National Association of Eye Banks' which can co-ordinate and guide all the other eye banks in India, we cannot achieve the desired results in eye banking This national association should be able to guide and control the working of other eye banks, give financial backing and also encourage research and training in the field of corneal transplantation. They can also influence the various states to pass the corneal grafting act which should be uniform through out the country.

I feel that the All India Ophthalmological Society should take the initiative in organizing such an apex body representing the government as well as voluntary organizations I am sure such an initi­ative will be possible under the leadership of the incoming President who happens to be the Advisor to the Government of India.


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