The issue of organ donation is something that I’m personally invested in, even more so when it became the subject of controversy recently.
Around February this year, some questions went up in the air here in Malaysia, namely: Are organ donations halal?
This particular drama really highlights to us that a lot of Malaysians don’t really have a good idea of what’s going on with organ donation.
There’s a lot of miscommunication going around, chief of which: registering doesn’t mean that organ harvesters will come for you while you’re alive.
For one thing, living organ donation is a completely different ball-game altogether. In Malaysia, they’ll only accept living organ donations from a close blood relative.
The normal organ donation process is actually more like a pledge. You make a promise that if you die, you’ll be willing to part with your precious organs. Once you’ve left this cruel world, these fleshy bits are then transplanted into a body who needs it, which gives them a new lease on life.
(Just make sure that you let your next of kin know, because if they aren’t cool with it later then your pledge will have been in vain.)
And here’s how you register online in Malaysia.
That’s right! You don’t have to wait until the next organ donation drive comes to town. If you are interested in registering to grant the gift of life, this can all be done online, quite easily too.
First things first!
- Individuals who are under 18 years old must obtain written permission from a parent or guardian to register as an organ donor.
- Registering as an organ donor is free and does not involve any health screening. Apparently, very few medical conditions disqualify you from donating.
- In Malaysia, children and the mentally disordered can’t donate organs while they’re still alive
- Prisoners also can’t donate unless it’s a life-or-death deal involving close relatives.
If you want to first learn more about organ donation, DermaOrgan.gov.my has some resources on their site for you to peruse.
From here, you can decide on whether organ donation is something up your alley, and remember that this is a personal decision to make. No one can force you to give, or not to give your organs.
And if you decide that organ donation is up your alley after all, fill up the information on this page. You also get to decide which tissues you’ll be okay to part with posthumously.
I did it myself and it took no more than 5 minutes. I received an email confirming my pledge a few seconds later, with a promise that I’ll receive my organ donation card in the mail in 3 weeks, once verified by their officers.
- Fill up your personal information.
- Sign the back of the card.
- And keep it on your person at all times.
The presence of this card will make it easier for doctors to identify both your identity to contact your next of kin. It’ll also save some precious time in life-or-death situations.
If offline is still the way for you, you can wait for the aforementioned organ donation drives.
You can download and print the Donor Pledger Form here. You fill that up and then send it to:
National Transplant Resource Centre
(Hospital Kuala Lumpur)
Unit B 5-1, Wisma Sejarah,
No 230, Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur
And this is why registering is important.
Back in October last year, Negri Sembilan Health director Dr Abdul Rahim Abdullah said that the organ donation rate for organ and tissue transplants in Malaysia is among the lowest in the world.
Meanwhile, other statements just earlier this year claim that the organ donation scene is in even more dire straits than we thought, lacking everything from teams to receive organs from deceased donors to surgeons who will conduct these surgeries.
And as far as misunderstandings go, this article on MayoClinic has addressed all of the rumours and myths surrounding organ donation—even the religious aspect.
So as a personal plea, I think it’s not remiss for me to send out a call-to-action to all of my esteemed readers about pledging your organs to save lives.
Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai has said that they have ongoing plans to train more specialists and double the number of teams that retrieve organs from donors, and they’re also taking measures to reduce organ trafficking.
But all of these measures will be in vain if there are no Malaysians stepping up to donate their organs.
You can register for online organ donation here.
Feature Image Credit: kababbittyu.cf