Organ donors advised to get family’s approval

Last minute objections from family members have hampered the donation of organs when they were most needed.

That is why people who wish to become organ donors should get their their family’s approval first, Public Awareness for Organ Donation Action Committee chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said.

Between 1997 and September this year, 147,092 people had registered as organ donors, but only 300 could actually donate, he added at the launch of the registration service for organ donors at Pos Malaysia headquarters here today.

According to the National Transplant Resources Centre, 11,000 patients were waiting for a kidney transplant, 18 for a liver and five for a heart.

However, only half of them would find a suitable donor, while the rest would have to continue treatment because the law prohibited the sale of human organs, the centre’s chief coordinator, Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor, said.

Pos Malaysia Berhad chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat told reporters after the launch that his organization could help spread information on organ donation.

“There are approximately 1,200 post offices in the country and through this channel, the information on organ donation can be spread faster and farther,” he said.

He said the registration exercise, organized with the cooperation of the Health Ministry, would be continued and improved.

The information and organ donor registration form, designed like a postcard, would be distributed together with a donor pledge card at 18 selected post offices nationwide.

“The public need only fill up the form, take the pledge card and post the postcard back using a 60sen stamp,” Aseh said.