Will LifeLine PHL break the current Guinness World Record for most organ donor pledges?
What does organ donation really entail?
“The statistics for organ donation and transplantation in the country, albeit saddening, are not surprising. Because, after all, how can families even find room to think of such options when someone they love, with a beating heart and still warm to the touch, has just been declared brain dead?” shares Dr. Antonio Paraiso, Program Manager of the DOH-Philippine Network for Organ Sharing and Founder of the Human Organ Preservation Effort (H.O.P.E.).
People who would put their feet into the shoes of those who have chosen to say no to organ donation would understand how it isn’t anyone’s idea of comfort, especially in such time of grief. “However, what we are continuing to advocate is the very essence of breathing life to losses—of carrying on with their stories by being lifelines to others,” says Paraiso. “Organ donors are referred to as lifelines because just one can let up to 50 people who were once captives of organ failure see, walk, breeze through life again1.”
Unlike countries such as Spain, Singapore, and Denmark where all citizens are considered as lifelines unless one declares disagreement, the reverse holds true in the Philippines where consent is needed before one can donate organs. A deeper understanding of Republic Act No. 7170 or the Organ Donation Act of 1991 would shed light to the weight of what being a lifeline entails.
Any individual at time of brain death, through the consent of the immediate family (spouse, sibling, child, parent, or guardian), may become an organ donor and allow the harvesting of all or any part of his/her body for donation. However, any individual who has signed an Official Organ Donor Card while living, will at time of brain death, be considered a citizen who has “left a legacy”. On top of this, any individual with an Official Organ Donor Card automatically becomes a priority recipient candidate should he/she be the one who would require an organ transplant throughout the course of his/her life.
More than ticking a box In this light, the Department of Health (DOH) and its partner organizations aim to continue the advocacy and awareness of organ donation as it pushes for the Philippine Organ Donor and Recipient Registry System.
More than just building a national registry of organ donors, the organizations have placed their bids to break two Guinness World records of “Most People to Sign up as Organ Donor” for One (1) Hour Single Site and Eight (8) Hours Single Site. On top of this, the Philippines has been given the green light to establish new records for the One (1) and Eight (8) Hours Multiple Sites—making it a national campaign