February 27, 2024

Indians could get half-price rail tickets if they donate relative’s organs

Minister steers country towards presumed consent system

India will slowly move
towards a presumed consent system like Spain’s, if Health
Minister A. Ramadoss has his way. However, he knows that Indians are
normally reluctant to donate organs. So he plans to introduce it only
for corneas with brain
dead patients in government hospitals. An Indian delegation recently
visited Spain to gather information on the system there. Ten organ
retrieval and banking organisations are also being set up around the
country and there are plans to give incentives to relatives who
consent to organ retrieval from brain dead patients. These include a
50% discount on second-class rail tickets, free medical check-ups for
life, and preferred status on organ transplant waiting lists. Despite
minister’s enthusiasm, transplant surgeons are not
impressed. “Presumed consent will cause utter chaos,”
says Dr Deepak Natarajan, a cardiologist. “What India needs is
a large-scale awareness campaign on the benefits of organ donation.
Those who finally donate should be given incentives like jobs for
their kin besides being felicitated in public.” ~ Times of India, Mar 11