KARACHI   -   Medical experts have called for efforts to make the “Ethical Deceased Organ Donation Programme” more acceptable in the society.

Experts representing the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international medical institutions were taking part in the debate on the opening day of the two-day international conference jointly organised by SIUT’s CBEC (Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture) here on Monday, said a statement. Conference which is titled “Ethical Deceased Organ and Tissue Donor Programme made an in-depth discussion on the issues concerning deceased organ donation.

They declared that organs and tissues from the deceased donors is a viable remedy for those patients who are suffering from end-stage conditions. The conference was also informed that in Pakistan alone over 50,000 died every year due to end-stage of organ failure.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Jose Nunez, who is the Adviser to WHO on Transplantation, spoke about the guidelines of ethical transplantation which are practiced among the member countries. He said that procedures of transplantation are moving ahead globally as they are reliable source of treatment.

He underlined the need for larger acceptance of deceased organ donation, particularly in the developing countries by creating mass awareness and establishing ethically sound infrastructure.

He was followed by Dr Alicia Perez Blanco from the Spanish National Transplantation Organisation, who spoke about the factors contributing to Spain’s phenomenal success in establishing a deceased donor programme.  Dr Valerie Luyckx from the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich, was another speaker who spoke on the role of the WHO Collaborating Centre in the efforts to promote ethical practices in organ transplantation. Earlier, the chairperson of CBEC Dr Farhat Moazzam highlighted the activities of her centre in promoting ethical healthcare system.

Director SIUT Prof Adib Rizvi also spoke and recounted the practice of ethical transplantation being carried at his institute for past many decades.

The afternoon session of the conference focused on the challenges in establishing deceased organ donor programs, as experienced in different countries.

Dr Sunil Shroff gave his views regarding India in a Skype talk, followed by Dr Iftikhar Khan from Saudi Arabia, Dr Katayoun Najafizadeh from Iran and Dr. Anwar Naqvi from SIUT, Pakistan. All four speakers provided country perspectives on deceased organ donation and spoke of the ethical challenges raised by prevailing systems.

They also discussed perceptions about brain death in the healthcare circles in their countries, the reasons why some people donate and others do not.

They underscored the importance of transplant coordinators in the structure of transplantation and existing training programmes for them.

Later Dr Fareena Hanif and Dr Arslan Khan of the SIUT discussed the ethical aspects of brain death and donation of organs from deceased donors.