Some three months back, my eldest brother, a chain smoker, passed away due to lung cancer in his late 50s. We have taken him away for cremation. During funeral, I have overheard that he wished to donate his eyes after death. But his eyes could not be given away before it turned into ashes because there was no one of his nearest to sign the affidavit. Of course, his wife is still living, but, according to Hindu rites, she should not witness the last proceedings of cremation. Thus, his noble wish withered away!
He would have helped two blind persons see, but he couldn't despite his last wishes.
To prevent such noble wishes die, what you need to do is to sign the Medical and Donor Form and see the related literature now and keep the Card next to your chest all the time because the Card with the microfilm tells about you when you can't (also in case of an accident). Also, you could save seven lives even after your death by donating your eyes, kidneys, heart, liver and pancreas!
A GI volunteer told me that a large number of his community-members, mostly illiterate and semiliterate, are now willing to donate their organs as they witnessed the positive sides of the organ donation by a Buddhist young lady who died recently.
In most cases, even if the dying person wishes to donate his/her organs verbally, their relatives do not consent after death due to two reasons:
- First, they are traumatized and hesitate to make such a decision at the odd and eleventh hour.
- Second, basically on religious grounds. There is a strong belief in several communities that if you donate your organs and got cremated without any of the body parts, you won't be born with one in next life. Scientifically, it is a wrong notion. But it is a fundamental factor which discourages the organ donation.
Therefore, to avoid such awkward situation, the person has to express his/her wish(es) in writing as in Medical Data Form to make the process easier when s/he is alive.
Medical science categorized death into two categories—Clinical death and Brain death. In case of Brain death, only the brain stops functioning due to irreversible damage, but other organs like heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys and cornea of eye continues working normally which can be transplanted to the needy. This requires a brain death certificate from two doctors at a gap of 6 hours.
Thus, you would also take pride that you would be physically alive even after your death! This will also help your relatives feel your presence around them even if you passed away.
What can you do?
- Pledge to donate any/all of your seven organs you wish to donate after death by signing the Medical Data Form, and send the form to us for processing.
- Make copies of the Medical Data Form and pass this message to your family members, friends, colleagues, employees, employers, relatives and members of religious and professional bodies, and clubs etc. In case you need printed copies of forms, order it by filling the Order Form.
- Try to make people convince about the rationality of the organ donation, and how it could brighten the face of humanity. Use channels like the community leaders and their network, government officials, clubs like Rotary, Lions, Scouts, and Sierra, trade unions, parents and teachers associations, old age homes, religious congregations etc.
- Request religious leaders in your community to fight against the irrational beliefs which go against the concept of sharing and caring—the fundamental principle of every religion across the globe.
- If you have a website, webcast it or put a banner or button in your own site. Or, convince any of your friends in the mass media or Internet business to incorporate the idea into theirs. They can put aside a small space or time slot for a (radio) feature or a complimentary ad in their media.
- Make a flyer or poster of your like and distribute. Don't forget to mention the Movement address appeared below.
- Report your activities, newspaper clippings and other publicity materials for publication in Global Breakthrough and evaluation for awards to our address appeared below.