SPMC strengthens deceased organ donation

Dr. Maria Theresa Bad-Ang, chair of the Renal Transplant Section of Nephrology of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), shows an organ donor card during this week's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao. Bad-ang said SPMC is strengthening deceased organ donation not only to stop the selling or buying of organs from the living but to give a legacy after the death of the donor as well. Edge Davao
Dr. Maria Theresa Bad-Ang, chair of the Renal Transplant Section of Nephrology of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), shows an organ donor card during this week's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao. Bad-ang said SPMC is strengthening deceased organ donation not only to stop the selling or buying of organs from the living but to give a legacy after the death of the donor as well. Edge Davao

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is strengthening its deceased organ donation.

The move is aimed to stop the selling or buying of organs from living persons as well as to honor the donor as well for the legacy donation.

“Yung pinu-push natin kasi mga deceased organ donors kasi we are trying to stop yung mga buying of kidneys. During the pandemic, we are receiving so many messages on our Facebook account that they want to sell their kidneys and we know it is illegal and we cannot sell our own kidneys or liver or even our eyes. So we had to strengthen deceased organ donor because if we cannot get a living donor then we have to utilize those deceased donors because we know that we can give a legacy after our death,” said Dr. Maria Theresa Bad-ang, chair of the Renal Transplant Section of Nephrology of SPMC, during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao on Monday.

Bad-ang said in 2019 they recorded a total of 300 identified organ donors in SPMC with as high as 196 per month. But when the pandemic came and the ER was locked and they were not able to gather organ donors.

However, gathering donors remain a challenge as some of the families of the deceased will not allow organ donation.

“We identified more than 300 patients na possible donors in the hospital and these are braindead patients so the public has to know that braindead is dead so when you are braindead you are legally dead and you can donate your organs as long as your family will agree upon it. Even if you have an organ donor card and if your family will not agree then you cannot be a donor. We have so many patients that are possible donors but because the family did not agree then we don’t have any donors. It’s the family that would agree. Ang aming promotions ngayon you have to tell your wishes to your family because we’ll never know when our life will stop and if ever it will and our family doesn’t know then they will not agree and the other people who might be benefiting our organs will not receive that. We have to open the minds of our countrymen,” she said.

Bad-ang explained that they are not remunerating the donors under the principle of organ donation but if they donate they will not be charged.

“For example the moment that you consent to a donation you will not be charged with your hospitalization. As long as it’s done at SPMC your hospitalization can be taken care of,” she said.

For the donated kidney, Bad-ang said they can preserve it for 48 hours from the moment that they retrieved it, the liver is only 12 hours, the heart is only four hours, and the lungs are for six hours.

Meanwhile, former mayor Sara Duterte has signed last year Executive Order No. 65 Series of 2021 “an order creating the Davao City Organ Donation Council, defining its functions and providing for other mechanisms for organ donation in Davao City.”

Section 2 states that functions of the council include ensuring the widespread dissemination and campaign for organ donation; creating a task force to monitor and extend guidance to families of potential organ donors; making sure that all legal and medical procedures in organ donation are followed in coordination with the Department of Health-Davao Region; SPMC Human Advocates and Retrieval Efforts (SHARE), and the SPMC Organ Procurement Organization (OPO).

“In 2020 Davao City passed an ordinance on organ donation at the same time Mayor Sara had made an Executive Order in 2021 supporting this and creating the Davao City Organ Donation Council. The process that we are doing now for the city ordinance is that we want that these donors will be honored not by money but by honoring them their legacy,” Bad-ang said.

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