Save Lives: Modify Organ Donation Law in India

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Petition: Modify Organ Donation Law in India - Require potential donors to opt-out rather than opt-in from organ donation

Picture this: You are driving home with your family after a fun night out at a restaurant. Out of nowhere, a speeding car rams into the side of your vehicle. Next thing you know, you're at a hospital bed bending over your daughter, her life sustained only by a ventilator. A lung transplant is what she needs.

The doctors (and your connections) in this town are good but nothing can hasten the 5-day-wait for the delivery of the type B+ lung all the way from Delhi. The uncertain fate of your daughter and your helplessness in this situation is torture beyond belief. If only there was something you could do to just end it!

This is the story of everyone who has ever had to wait for an organ transplant. Organ transplant lists are long and the chances of securing them slim at best. There's too much demand and simply too little supply. To add to it are the logistical deficiencies our system is riddled with as well as the various arbitrary decisions involved in the process. All of these factors only serve to compound a life-and-death situation.

Which is why organ donation needs to be made automatic after death. Automatic organ donation means that a person would have to opt-out, rather than opt-in, to organ donation. Simply put, your organs would be donated by default post-mortem...unless you specifically choose not to do so while you are alive.

Organ donation would still be at the donor's discretion, but the implied consent of this system means that everyone would be an organ donor by default and would not miss out on doing the noble deed simply because they forgot to fill out a form.

An estimated 5 lakh lives are lost every year in our country for want of organs. A simple change in the system (and an enabling infrastructure) could save these lives. Countries like Singapore, France and Netherlands already have laws in place that support an opt out system.

Automatic organ donation would not just improve availability of organs, but would necessitate the creation of critical infrastructure to harvest, store and transport these life-saving units. A move that can help save lives, alleviate suffering for those on long-term artificial life support and bring new joy to those who've never experienced the sight of a sunrise or the taste of fruit.

So much we take for granted, so much we enjoy about our lives is possible because we have functional organs and were made whole.

Sign this petition if you see the need for change. Who knows? It might just be you who needs it.