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PIA Press Release

Help someone live after your death, DOH appeals

Tacloban City (June 25) -- The Department of Health called on people to help someone live after their death, as it formally established a national program for the "sharing of organs from deceased donors."

The DOH initiative was made "in response to the Philippine commitment to the 2008 Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism and the 63rd World Health Assembly Resolution on Organ Donation for governments to take appropriate actions in increasing the transplant of kidneys and other organs from deceased donors."

The program aims to serve the needs of mainly 9,000 Filipinos suffering from kidney failure each year, according to Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

The Department of Health seeks not only to improve an important service to many patients in need of organ transplantation, but also to assure that the illegal traffic of organs that has victimized many of our countrymen for many years will not be repeated, Secretary Cabral said.

The DOH Secretary issued an administrative order on the program, which she said "shall set the policies and guidelines for a deceased donors program for the country that will be feasible, equitable and ethical."

Secretary Cabral expressed confidence that with this program, the international medical community will once again recognize that the Philippines is truly serious in curtailing illegal organ donation and at the same time, strengthen the deceased donors program which has been known to be effective in other countries.

In the Philippines, the non-government group Human Organ Preservation Effort, or HOPE, has launched what it calls "Organ Donor Card Project."

A HOPE donor card is the "equivalent of a legal consent document" allowing an individual to donate any of his body organs shortly after his death.

Before a person can become a cadaver donor, he or she must be certified as brain dead. Among the organs that can be harvested from such a donor are the kidneys, the liver, bone marrow, pancreas, lungs, cornea, and the heart.

The only organs that can be donated under "living-related organ donations" are one kidney, bone marrow and a part of the liver, provided they would not cause any danger to the donor's life or cause any alteration to his physical activities. (PIA 8) [top]

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