On July 03, 2017, MOHAN Foundation was invited to conduct an awareness session on organ donation by Encore Capital Group, Sector 44, Gurugram. Four sessions were organized, two for the afternoon shift and two for the evening shift at two different office locations, plot no 28P and 137 respectively. The afternoon sessions were conducted by Dr. Muneet Sahi, Programme Manager and were accompanied by Ms. Jyoti Sharma, Transplant Coordinator and evening sessions by Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director, and Ms. Mareena Thomas, Programme Officer, MOHAN Foundation-Delhi-NCR. The sessions were organised and coordinated by Ms. Rohini Bhall and Mr. Utkarsh Roy from the HR department of Encore.
Encore Capital Group is an international specialty finance company with operations in 11 countries. Their subsidiaries purchase portfolios of consumer receivables from major banks, credit unions, utility providers, and municipalities, and partner with individuals as they repay their obligations and work toward financial recovery.
Dr. Muneet began the session by introducing MOHAN Foundation and its activities. She asked the participants if anyone had heard of organ donation and which organs and tissues can be donated while alive. Participants replied blood, part of liver and kidney. One participant then shared the story of his cousin who had pledged his organs while alive and his family donated his eyes after his death thus fulfilling his wish.
The difference between coma and brain death, cardiac death, eye donation, solid organs & tissue donation, myths versus reality check around organ donation and THO Act was explained in detail to the participants. The process of pledging one's organs by filling up the donor card and sharing one's wish to donate organs upon death with the family members was also stressed upon.
At the end of the session, queries of the participants were taken up:
• What is the organ allocation policy of the National body i.e. NOTTO?
• What are the tissues that can be donated after circulatory death?
• Why are brain dead patients kept on ventilator?
• What is the importance of carrying a donor card and how to pledge online & where?
• Does organ donation mutilate the body of the donor?
• Who bears the cost for maintenance of a donor or retrieval or transportation of organs?
In the evening session, replying to a participant’s question regarding consent for organ donation in unclaimed bodies, Ms. Mareena explained that in such cases, after 48 hours of the body not being claimed by any of the near relatives, the authority for the removal of organs may be given in the prescribed form (as laid down in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994) by the person in charge of the hospital or prison.
During Ms. Pallavi’s session, there was a participant whose husband had donated a part of his liver to a family member. She ecstatically shared how the entire liver had regrown back and her husband was doing completely fine. To explain the difference between coma and brain death, the case of Aruna Shanbaug was shared, an Indian nurse who spent 42 years in a persistent vegetative state after being raped and strangled. In all those years, the option of organ donation could not be offered as she was not brain dead though she had severe brain damage. Brain death is defined as irreversible cessation of all brain functions, including the brain stem. Coma is distinguished from brain death by the presence of brain stem responses, spontaneous breathing or non-purposeful motor responses.
40 participants attended the afternoon sessions and 25 donor cards were picked up. 35 participants attended the evening sessions and 40 donor cards were picked up.