1. What is organ donation?
An organ transplant is a surgical procedure that involves the transplantation of an organ from a living (related or non-related) or deceased (cadaver) donor, to replace the function of the diseased organ. It is the best option of treatment for patients with organ failure. The surgery involves two participant patients:
the recipient and the donor. Before a transplant, both the recipient and the donor are required to undergo extensive medical and psychosocial evaluations. This is to ensure the success and safety of the procedure.
2. Why is organ donation important?
Promoting deceased organ donation helps increase the organ donor pool in the Philippines. This will save the lives of patients with organ (kidney, liver, cornea, skin and bones) failures.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Stage 5 or End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESRD) is very common. There are more than 13,275 patients who are currently reported to have this condition1. According to the Department of Health, CKD Stage 5 or ESRD is now the 9th leading cause of death in the Philippines2.
Nowadays, organ donors are scarce. Relatives may be asked to donate (living related donors) but not all will qualify since certain diseases (like Diabetes and Hypertension) are inherited and tend to cluster in families. Living Non-Related Donors (LNRD) can also be considered as a source but true altruistic LNRDs are even more rare to find.
A) Philippine Renal Disease Registry, 2010
B) Department of Health, Leading Cause of Mortality 2009
3. Is deceased organ donation legal?
Yes. The Organ Donation Act of 1991 (also known as Republic Act No. 7170) enacted by Congress and signed by Former President Corazon Aquino, is an act authorizing the legacy or donation of all or part of a human body after death.
4. Who can be a candidate for deceased organ donation?
Any living individual, at least eighteen (18) years of age and of sound mind may express their interest to donate organ/s by way of an advance directive or through an Organ Donor Card. During the demise of an individual, even with an Organ Donor card, the next of kin may give consent for organ donation.
5. How is deceased organ donation initiated?
The process of deceased organ donation starts upon declaration of brain death. At this point, the option of organ donation will be offered. If they will agree, then the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) will discuss it with the family.
6. What organs can be donated?
Organs include: Tissues include: