Brain death: India
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Delhi government’s order: May 2016
The Times of India, May 01 2016
Brain death assessment mandatory
The Delhi government has issued a circular making it mandatory for all hospitals to ascertain and certify brain death--irreversible loss of brain function due to any disease or trauma. This, the government says, is not just necessary for boosting organ donation. It will also check incidences where patients with irreversible brain function are kept in hospitals causing anxiety and financial burden on their families.
According to the circular issued by state health secretary Dr Tarun Seem, many medical practitioners are not following the prescribed procedure in all cases of brain stem death. “All clinicians, when facing a situation where `brain stem death' is suspected, must follow the procedure mentioned in Section 3(6) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 to ascertain and certify brain stem death in Form 10,“ the circular says.
Once a patient is certfied brain-dead, multiple organs and tissues can be harvested, including heart, kidney , lung, liver and pancreas, for transplantation. Dr S K Sarin, director of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, said the move by the Delhi government will increase the organ pool and help save many lives.
Sources said the Delhi Organ Transplant Cell, which is headed by Dr Anil Aggarwal, held several meetings with fo rensic experts, police and transplant surgeons before deciding that brain stem death assessment is mandatory . The government is also contemplating nominating experts, who can assist hospitals in this, said sources.
As per the provision of Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), once the brain stem death is declared, the doctor is required to make a request--to let the patient's kin know about the option to authorise or decline the donation of organs or tissues or both.
Dr Aarti Vij, chief of Organ Retrieval and Banking Organisation at AIIMS, said “Our hospital has put a lot of focus on identiying such cases and then requesting the family of such patients to donate the organs.