DONATING ORGANS IS ACTUALLY GIVING THE GIFT OF LIFE!

17.06.2008
The participants of Young Sabancı Program working for Sabancı Group companies are implementing a social responsibility project on organ donation. Below you can find information about such an important issue saving numerous people nowadays and answers to your questions.
 
We all know that waiting is difficult! Nobody likes waiting  or being kept waiting. But you know that it will eventually be worth waiting, the moment or the person you are waiting will come and the event will occur in the end. Then, waiting is dressed up with a sweet excitement…. But there are some of us who want to wait even with fear. In fact, they are waiting with the awareness of the possibility that it may cost their lives … They are feeling that they are slowly dying day by day while they are hoping that they can live! They do not lose their hope and the excitement that they feel while waiting and they don’t want to lose it at all.
Who do you think that these “some of us” are?  More than 50 thousands of people among us and their families, friends, lovers, etc. In other words, all their beloved! Every one of these 50 thousands of people is getting more worn-out day by day and maybe getting less hopeful from the future. But the most dreadful point is the anxious suspense of those families, lovers, and friends that strive to their best in order to keep alive and sustain these people and their hopes together with their own hopes … And unfortunately, since they could not reach to any result despite trying any solution, most of them are having the last item of their life left in their hands racing with time: their love …
Some of these people maybe lost their hopes and surrendered and they are maybe waiting for death knowingly with fear. Or they may be waiting for the chance of living that they may encounter even with the least possibility of 2 in a million! Waiting for a heart, a kidney, a liver or another organ… In brief, they are waiting for their hopes, for their tomorrows and for their lives.
 
Maybe you are all aware of these facts or are watching the news that are sometimes published in various resources; but we wanted to reiterate them to you; because we believe that you are among the sensitive people with which we can share these feelings; and that we all have responsibilities against the people waiting for organs compatible for organ transplantation.
 
Unfortunately, like the low number of organ donations and transplants in our country, this level of consciousness is also too low in nearly all sections of the society. The biggest problem that we are experiencing in respect of organ transplants is the size of organ donations which cannot be unfortunately increased to the desired level despite all efforts. The number of patients in the organ list is increasing gradually; but unfortunately, the size of the organ donations cannot meet the requirements at all. The figures given below is actually a brief and beautiful summary of the current situation:
 
More than 50.000 patients are waiting for organs in Turkey.
- More than 8.000 new patients waiting for organs are added to these patients.
- On average, 7.000 patients lose their lives while on the waiting list.
- The number of cadaveric donors per million people is too low (Turkey:2, Spain: 35)
We request from you to mention about this issue and its importance and to encourage the people around you to get more information about organ donation, and to speak, share and take action about this matter. If you can deal with this issue, we believe that at least the lives of several patients can be changed … Well, who are we? We are neither doctors, nor patients fortunately. We are only a group of volunteers trying to do our best in order to raise the awareness about this issue in the society! Our greatest prayer is that nobody would experience such a helpless situation. However, increasing the sensitivity about organ donation will be a chance for all of us in order to enable our people waiting in such a despair to cling to life again.
DONATING ORGANS IS ACTUALLY GIVING THE GIFT OF LIFE!
 
We present our gratitude and best regards to you.
Donation Delegates
Find your answers about Organ Transplantation with 10 Questions; and then, become a Donation Delegate!

All questions about Organ Transplantation were answered by Prof. Dr. Münci Kalayoğlu, the Head of the General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery Department, Prof. Dr. Koray Acarlı, the Assistant Head of the Organ Transplantation and General Surgery Department and the Organ Transplantation team at the Memorial Hospital.
 
Question 1 – Can the organs donated be sold to others against money?
No! They cannot. When the organs of a person are donated after his/her death, the Organ Transplant coordination system is activated. As required by this system, the organs donated are notified to the Regional Coordination Center (BKM) of the Ministry of Health and therefrom to the National Coordination Center (UKM). The distribution of the organs among the centers are determined as a result of such notifications.
 
Question 2 – Is organ transplantation a good way of treatment?
Organ transplantation is performed on the patients with chronic organ failure. If organs cannot be found, the only result for these patients is; Death… Although the renal patients can live thanks to the dialysis machine, this life is very difficult since it depends on the machine. The life expectancy for such patients is getting shorter significantly. Upon organ transplant, the patients become as healthy as one of us.
 
Question 3 – Is the integrity of the corpse disjoined in the organ transplant operation?
Organ dissection from the cadavers is performed with due care and diligence as shown during an operation performed on an alive body. After removing the organs, the dissected section is stitched with aesthetic stitches as much as possible and great care and diligence is shown in order not to cause any damage on the corpse. Those corpses are sacred for the doctors who can assess the value of the organs and they deserve a great respect.
 
Question 4 – What is the age limit for organ donation?
There is no age limit for organ donation. Even if there may be some risk arising from the age of organ according to the organ to be used, it is possible to use the organs at any age and under any conditions for the recipients that cannot see the tomorrows under their current situation.
 
Question 5 – Can a person donating his/her organs while alive withdraw this consent in the future?
Of course YES. It will be satisfactory to notify this intent to your close relatives; because it will be your close relatives that will adjudicate your donations when the day comes. According to the current practices applied in our country, your organs cannot be taken unless your close relatives give consent for it even if you have a donation card.
 
Question 6 – Can I say that “I only want to donate my kidneys.”?
It is very easy… There are options on your organ donation cart indicating this preference. Furthermore, it will be satisfactory for you to notify it to your close relatives.
 
Question 7 – I am anxious that I may experience a problem if an organ donation card is found on me upon experiencing a health-related event.  Am I right to feel such an anxiety?
According to the rules of medicine, nobody’s life can be sacrificed for any person. A life of a person cannot even be sacrificed for the entire mankind. Therefore, there is no room for any anxiety. For those thinking of “any possibility of abuse?”, organ transplantation is an operation that can be performed by a crowded team. And furthermore, it should be borne in mind that the consent of the family should be received for dissection of organs even if the donor has donated his/her organs while alive.
 
Question 8 – Can the organ mafia access to organ donation data?
The information received during organ donation is never satisfactory enough for the performance of a transplantation. They are merely of a quality showing a few identity information indicating the intent of the person, rather than his/her health conditions.
Question 9 – What is the success rate of our country in organ transplantations?
In our country, the organ transplantations are performed up to the world standards and they are concluded even beyond the world standards. The success rate is above 90% in the transportations of important organs such as liver and kidney, etc.
 
Question 10 – How is the organ transplantation system controlled?
The system is too complex since it is subject to self-control and it requires a crowded team. There are too many people involved in the system that any case of sales cannot be concealed. Therefore, especially any abuse in case of cadaveric organ donations cannot be considered and as a matter of fact, there is not any event reported within the judicial records. Similarly, any abuses in respect of living donor transplantations cannot be concealed, either. As a matter of fact, in addition to the organ transplantation team, the ethical rules of the hospitals are also involved in any cases required. In other words, nearly 15 persons are informed about an organ transplantation.